The Afternoon Sun – C.P. Cavafy

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.

“These sad things must still be somewhere.” How great is this line?? This is the way to write about love-sadness, love-loss. It isn’t overly mushy – which I feel like I talk about a lot, but it’s very important to me – and it isn’t over the top. The familiarity with the room, with the afternoon sun spreading across the bed.

I love it. “just for a week…Alas, / that week became forever.” Enjambment is so important. Enjambment, in case you haven’t heard of it, is when a line break does not correspond with punctuation in a poem. There are SO many cool ways to use it, to sneak in additional little meanings. And it really is one of the techniques of modern poetry (that and not capitalizing the first word of every line).

Getting off of my little soapbox now. I just really enjoy interesting enjambment!


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