The City

Single channel video projection, 1:42

Narrated by Panagiotis Chatzimichail, Original Greek text by C.P. Cavafy/Κ.Π. Καβάφης

English Translation: Aliki Barnstone. "The Collected Poems of C.P. Cavafy: A New Translation/translated by Aliki Barnstone." New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2006


You said, “I’ll go to another land, I’ll go to another sea.

I’ll find a city better than this one.

My every effort is a written indictment,

And my heart — like someone dead — is buried.

How long will my mind remain in this decaying state.

Wherever I cast my eyes, wherever I look,

I see my life in black ruins here,

Where I spent so many years, and ruined and wasted them.”

You will not find new lands, you will not find other seas.

The city will follow you. You will roam

The same streets. And you will grow old in the same neighborhood,

And your hair will turn white in the same houses.

You will always arrive in this city. Don’t hope for elsewhere -

There is no ship for you, there is no road.

As you have wasted your life here,

In this small corner, so you have ruined it on the whole earth.