Constantine P. Cavafy

(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

An Old Man


At the noisy end of the cafe, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.

And in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.

He knows he's aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
So brief an interval, so brief.

And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed - what madness -
that cheat who said: "Tomorrow. You have plenty of time."

He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.

But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the cafe table.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: strength, joy, lost, alone, time, believe, remember

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (An Old Man by Constantine P. Cavafy )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Tony Best (11/7/2007 8:57:00 AM)

    Beautiful. Makes one want to seize the day, and drain every dropp of joy from life. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. रंजानाय फैगौ, Ronjoy Brahma
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Alone.., Luo Zhihai
  2. In Utter Hopelessness and Despair..., Dr John Celes
  3. Alone, ,, Luo Zhihai
  4. Alone, , ,, Luo Zhihai
  5. Biyw, Swrji Basumatary
  6. A righteous path is a bumpy road…, Mark Heathcote
  7. No Podemos Respirar, Hebert Logerie
  8. Say at least, gajanan mishra
  9. Thou breeze, thou sing., ramesh rai
  10. Love's Secret, Luo Zhihai
[Hata Bildir]