Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's especially sad that he remembers it happened at four o'clock: Sunday's Poem Number 2

The Afternoon Sun
by C. P. Cavafy Translated by Aliki Barnstone

This room, how well I know it.
Now they rent it and the one next door
as commercial offices. The whole house became
offices for agents and merchants and companies.

Ah. this room, how familiar.

The couch was near the door, here;
in front, a Turkish rug;
near the couch, two yellow vases on a shelf.
On the right, no, across from it, was an armoire with a mirror.
In the middle, the table where he wrote
and three wicker chairs.
Next to the window was the bed
where we made love so many times.

These sad things must still be somewhere.

Next to the window was the bed;
the afternoon sun spread across halfway.

...One afternoon at four o'clock, we separated,
just for a week....Alas,
that week became forever.

To bring this together in a weird way, I'm reading Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts; the first story is about an editor of a horror anthology who laments that there's a dearth of great horror writing, and who likes one story in particular because of the way it focuses not on horror but on the mundane details of life between the horror. From that anecdote, and this poem, it can be seen that while the devil may be in the details, the magic is, too.

Also, it wasn't until reading it for the second time that I realized the speaker is a woman.

Other Poems:

"Blur," by Andrew Hudgins

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