Monday, March 21, 2016

Revisiting the Bookshelf

Sometimes I pass by a shelved book and open it up to whatever page it opens up to.
Yesterday it was a Paul Pines book and it opened up to page 34 and this poem:

Reading Cavafy

What I like most about Cavafy
is that he can't stop moralizing.

Growing old he sees he also grows
warmer to the barbarian in himself,
the Persian among Greeks,
the would-be voluptuary.

He spends days in cafes
by the sea,
drinking ouzo and wondering
if the whole world is destined to
become as small and seedy
as Alexandria.

The bodies of young men excite him.
He watches them from
his Garden of Missed Opportunities
until it resembles Gesthsemane
where he turns part Christian,
almost anti-Hellene

while the Greek in him
continues to weep
at the tomb of Patroklos,
insisting there is a grace in us
more magnificent than the god
it reflects.

     ~~ Paul Pines

(From:  Last Call at the Tin Palace: Poems by Paul Pines, Marsh Hawk Press, 2009)*    

 *A book of poems once gifted to me by its author. (Thanks again, Paul).
Poems are for sharing.