Quotes by Constantine Kavafy From Collected Poems

Constantine Kavafy was a Greek poet who is known for his lyrical and evocative poems. He is considered one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century. Here are translations of some of his most quoted words and thoughts.

Best Constantine Cavafy Quotes

He who hopes to grow in spirit will have to transcend obedience and respect. He’ll hold to some laws but he’ll mostly violate both law and custom, and go beyond the established, inadequate norm.

Sensual pleasures will have much to teach him. He won’t be afraid of the destructive act: half the house will have to come down. This way he’ll grow virtuously into wisdom

The setting of houses, cafés, the neighborhood
that I’ve seen and walked through years on end:
I created you while I was happy, while I was sad,
with so many incidents, so many details.
And, for me, the whole of you has been transformed into feeling.

Famous Quotes By C.P. Cavafy

You’ll walk the same streets, grow old in the same neighbourhoods, turn grey in these same houses

The Spartans weren’t to be led
and ordered around
like precious servants. Besides,
they wouldn’t have thought a pan-Hellenic expedition
without a Spartan king in command
was to be taken very seriously.
Of course, then, “except the Lacedaimonians.” That’s certainly one point of view. Quite understandable.


The greatest gods of our glorious Greece
appeared before you.
And if they left, don’t think for a minute
that they were frightened by a gesture.

Well Known Quotes Constantine Kavafy

And even more honor is due to them when they foresee (as many do foresee)that in the end Ephialtis will make his appearance, that the Medes will break through after all.

With no consideration, no pity, no shame, they have built walls around me, thick and high.

Honor to those who in the life they lead define and guard a Thermopylae. Never betraying what is right, consistent and just in all they do.

Yet we’re sure to fail. Up there, high on the walls, the dirge has already begun.

Our efforts are those of men prone to disaster; our efforts are like those of the Trojans.

Quotes From Constantine Kavafy

You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore. This city will always pursue you. You will walk the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods, will turn gray in these same houses. You will always end up in this city.

Half past twelve. How the time has gone by. Half past twelve. How the years have gone by.

[He] tried to start an intrigue, do something, come up with a plan; but he failed pitifully and was reduced to nothing.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? They were, those people, a kind of solution.

You long for something else, ache for other things: praise from the Demos and the Sophists, that hard-won, that priceless acclaim—the Agora, the Theatre, the Crowns of Laurel.

Don’t hope for things elsewhere: there is no ship for you, there is no road. As you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner, you’ve destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

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