C.P Cavafy

Image by courtesy of the Cavafy Archive/Onassis Foundation. All rights reserved.

C. P. Cavafy

b. 1863 d. 1933


As one long prepared, and graced with courage, say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving. - C.P. Cavafy 'The God Abandons Antony'


About C. P. Cavafy

Cavafy is widely considered to be one of the greatest Greek poets of the twentieth century. A perfectionist as regards his work, which he constantly revised, he published only 154 poems in his lifetime.

From his birth in 1863 to his death aged seventy in 1933, Cavafy lived variously in Alexandria, Constantinople, France and Liverpool, where he spent some time at an English school. The youngest of seven brothers, he worked as a civil servant and as a journalist. His quiet, conventional public persona hid a more complex private life. For instance, Cavafy gambled systematically and seemingly successfully, and he wrote frank, erotic poems about his sexual life. In his lifetime he remained an obscure literary figure whose work was circulated among friends in Alexandria, or published sporadically in newspapers, annuals and magazines. His friendship with the English novelist E.M. Forster led, however, to Cavafy’s work being  championed.