Treasure Island

Constantine P. Cavafy

(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

Days of 1908


That was the year when he stayed
Without work, for a living played
Cards, or backgammon; or borrowed and never paid.

He was offered a place at a small
Stationer’s, three pounds a month. It didn’t suit him.
It was not decent pay at all.
He refused it without hesitation;
He was twenty-five, and of good education.

Two or three shillings he made, more or less.
From cards and backgammon what could a boy skim;
At the common places, the cafés of his grade,
Although he played sharply, and picked stupid players.
As for borrowing, that didn’t always come off.
He seldom struck a dollar, oftener he’d fall
To half, and sometimes as low as a shilling.

Sometimes, when he got away from the grim
Night-sitting, for a week at a time or more,
He would cool himself at the baths, with a morning swim.

The shabbiness of his clothes was tragical.
He always wore the same suit, always displayed
A suit of cinnamon brown discoloured and frayed.

O summer days of nineteen hundred and eight, I recall
The picture of you, and out of it seems to fade,
Harmoniously, that cinnamon suit discoloured and frayed.

The picture of you has preserved him
Just as he would take off, would fling down
The unworthy clothes, the mended under clothes,
And remain all naked; faultlessly beautiful; a wonder.
Uncombed and lifted up his hair was;
His limbs a little sunburnt
From the morning nakedness at the baths and on the beach.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: education, sometimes, beach, summer, beautiful, work, hair, night, swimming

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 (Days of 1908 by Constantine P. Cavafy )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Farewell, Anne Brontë
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]