Constantine P. Cavafy
The Alexandrians were gathered
to see Cleopatra's children,
Caesarion, and his little brothers,
Alexander and Ptolemy, whom for the first
time they lead out to the Gymnasium,
there to proclaim kings,
in front of the grand assembly of the soldiers.
Alexander -- they named him king
of Armenia, Media, and the Parthians.
Ptolemy -- they named him king
of Cilicia, Syria, and Phoenicia.
Caesarion stood more to the front,
dressed in rose-colored silk,
on his breast a bouquet of hyacinths,
his belt a double row of sapphires and amethysts,
his shoes fastened with white
ribbons embroidered with rose pearls.
Him they named more than the younger ones,
him they named King of Kings.
The Alexandrians of course understood
that those were theatrical words.
But the day was warm and poetic,
the sky was a light azure,
the Alexandrian Gymnasium was
a triumphant achievement of art,
the opulence of the courtiers was extraordinary,
Caesarion was full of grace and beauty
(son of Cleopatra, blood of the Lagidae);
and the Alexandrians rushed to the ceremony,
and got enthusiastic, and cheered
in greek, and egyptian, and some in hebrew,
enchanted by the beautiful spectacle --
although they full well knew what all these were worth,
what hollow words these kingships were.
Constantine P. Cavafy's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Alexandrian Kings by Constantine P. Cavafy )
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(2 November 1994)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Poem of the Day
- Paris Will Never Be The Same, Alan W. Jankowski
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Alan W. Jankowski
- Grandpa, Alan W. Jankowski
- Happiness And Purpose, Alan W. Jankowski
- MY OATH DUE TO YOUR LOVE., Changez Ndzai
- The Sparrow, Robert Plese
- The Bemused, Robert Plese
- Time's departure, hasmukh amathalal
- We Were Born Naked, Michael Webb
- No race, hasmukh amathalal