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The Canon

C. P. Cavafy

Edited by Dimitrios Yatromanolakis
Translated by John Chioles

ISBN 9780674053267

Publication date: 09/12/2011

C. P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis) is one of the most important Greek poets since antiquity. He was born, lived, and died in Alexandria (1863–1933), with brief periods spent in England, Constantinople, and Athens. Cavafy set in motion the most powerful modernism in early twentieth-century European poetry, exhibiting simple truths about eroticism, history, and philosophy—an inscrutable triumvirate that informs the Greek language and culture in all their diachrony. The Cavafy Canon plays with the complexities of ironic Socratic thought, suffused with the honesty of unadorned iambic verse.

Based on a fifty-year continuous scholarly and literary interaction with Cavafy’s poetry and its Greek and western European intertexts, John Chioles has produced an authoritative and exceptionally nuanced translation of the complex linguistic registers of Cavafy’s Canon into English.


  • Constantine P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis) was a major Greek poet who worked as a journalist and civil servant during his lifetime.
  • Dimitrios Yatromanolakis is a former Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a recipient of the Berlin Prize.
  • John Chioles is Professor of Comparative Literature Emeritus at New York University.

Book Details

  • 420 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Department of the Classics

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