I love this strange little poem by C. P. Cavafy that came in this weekend from the occasionally awesome Poem-a-Day. I love the idea that one’s imprisonment can become a place from which to speak! It says of the poem that was originally written in modern Greek and translated by the poet in 1927—
‘Walls works exactly in this way: it is society that builds thick high walls around one [. . .]. The closet is a prison [. . .]. Meanwhile, as this oppressive barrier is written down, it is also exposed, thus becoming a starting point for self-expression. [. . .] Cavafy fashioned the closet not as a space for silence, but as a position from which to speak.”
A lovely sentiment! Love Susie. x
Without reflection, without mercy, without shame,
they built strong walls and high, and compassed me about.
And here I sit now and consider and despair.
It wears away my heart and brain, this evil fate:
I had outside so many things to terminate.
Oh! why when they were building could I not beware!
But never a sound of building, never an echo came.
Insensibly they drew the world and shut me out.
By C. P. Cavafy