I enjoy poetry. Some poems are inspiring as well as offering wise advice. One such poem for me is Ithaka by Constantine Cavafy. Constantine Cavafy (1863 – 1933) was a well known Greek poet who wrote the poem "Ithaka" around 1864 and was first published in 1911. There are a number of translations. It CAVAFY is  believed he modeled it after Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey. Ithaka is an island in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece to which Odyssey returned after the Trojan War.

Many people have been inspired by this poem and seen in it a guide to how they GREECE should view life. The essential message is that what is really important is not the goal, as was the island of Ithaka for  Odyssey's years of searching, but the journey itself. The poet expresses the idea that as you set out on your journey through life, hope that it is a long one full of adventure and discovery. He suggests that while we are looking for our own Ithaka. the end is really not our goal, but the journey itself.

The obstacles the poem mentions include the Lestrygonians, who were half-men and half giants and had eaten some of Odyssey's men. There are also Cyclops who were giants with one eye in the center of their forehead who had captured his men. Poseidon was the great God of the sea who was angry with Odyssey for blinding his son. So here's Ithaka for your enjoyment.


When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber, and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what these Ithacas mean.

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