Trojans - C. P. Cavafy

February 16 2023 · poems cavafy hellenic

Our efforts, those of the ill-fortuned;
our efforts are the efforts of the Trojans.
We will make a bit of progress; we will start
to pick ourselves up a bit; and we’ll begin
to be intrepid, and to have some hope.

But something always comes up, and stops us cold.
In the trench in front of us Achilles
emerges, and affrights us with his shouting –

Our efforts are the efforts of the Trojans.
We imagine that with resolve and daring
we will reverse the animosity of fortune,
and so we take our stand outside, to fight.

But whenever the crucial moment comes,
our boldness and our daring disappear;
our spirit is shattered, comes unstrung;
and we scramble all around the walls
seeking in our flight to save ourselves.

And yet our fall is certain. Up above,
on the walls, already the lament has begun.
They mourn the memory, the sensibility, of our days.
Bitterly Priam and Hecuba mourn for us.

Remembering Nick Wong. 1979 – 2023.

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