A Poet Reflects

When They Come Alive

Try to keep them, poet,
those erotic visions of yours,
however few of them there are that can be stilled.
Put them, half-hidden, in your lines.
Try to hold them, poet,
when they come alive in your mind
at night or in the brightness of noon.

—C.P. Cavafy, from C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems (Princeton University Press, 1992), translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard

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