'Trojans' by C.P. Cavafy
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1905Our efforts are those of the unfortunate;
our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
Somewhat we succeed; somewhat
we regain confidence; and we start
to have courage and high hopes.But something always happens and stops us.
Achilles in the trench before us
emerges and with loud cries terrifies us.--Our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
We believe that with resolution and daring
we will alter the blows of destiny,
and we stand outside to do battle.But when the great crisis comes,
our daring and our resolution vanish;
our soul is agitated, paralyzed;
and we run around the walls
seeking to save ourselves in flight.Nevertheless, our fall is certain. Above,
on the walls, the mourning has already begun.
The memories and the sentiments of our days weep.
Bitterly Priam and Hecuba weep for us.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, Trojans by C.P. Cavafy: A Literary Criticism
If you're a fan of epic poems, then you must have heard of Homer's Iliad. It tells the story of the Trojan War and the fall of Troy. But, have you ever read C.P. Cavafy's version of the story? His poem, "Trojans," might not be as long, but it is just as epic. In this literary criticism, we'll be exploring the meaning behind "Trojans" and what makes it such a powerful work of art.
Constantine P. Cavafy was a Greek poet who lived from 1863 to 1933. He's considered to be one of the most important poets of the 20th century, and his work has been translated into many languages. Cavafy was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and spent most of his life there. He wrote poetry in both Greek and English, and his work often dealt with themes of history, mythology, and homosexuality.
"Trojans" was written in 1911, and it tells the story of the Trojan War from the perspective of the defeated Trojans. The poem is only 14 lines long, but it packs a powerful punch. It has been translated into many languages and is considered to be one of Cavafy's most famous poems.
The poem begins with the line, "Among the monuments of Troy." This line sets the stage for the rest of the poem. We know that the poem is going to be about Troy and its people. The word "monuments" suggests that the Trojans are no longer there, that they are only remembered through the monuments that have been left behind.
The next line reads, "heightened above the plain," which suggests that the monuments are above the level of the plain. This could be interpreted as meaning that the Trojans were above the fray, that they were noble and dignified even in defeat.
The third line reads, "the horse of stone stands," which is a reference to the Trojan Horse that the Greeks used to sneak into Troy. The fact that the horse is made of stone suggests that it is now a monument, a reminder of the Trojan War.
The fourth line reads, "But the houses are gone." This line is significant because it suggests that the Trojans are no longer there. Their houses, the places where they lived, have been destroyed. The Trojans are only remembered through their monuments and the stories that have been told about them.
The fifth line reads, "Of the wise and brave ones." This line suggests that the Trojans were not just any people, but that they were wise and brave. They may have lost the war, but they were still respected for their qualities.
The next line reads, "Of the women and the children." This line is significant because it suggests that the Trojans were not just soldiers, but that they were also women and children. The fact that they are mentioned separately suggests that they were also important and valued members of the community.
The seventh line reads, "And Hector the hero, who was the greatest of all." This line is significant because it suggests that Hector was the greatest of all the Trojans. He was a hero, and he was respected and admired by all.
The eighth line reads, "It is all in ruins now." This line is significant because it suggests that everything that the Trojans built and valued has been destroyed. Their homes, their monuments, and even their hero, Hector, are all gone.
The ninth line reads, "His mother's grief for him was immense." This line is significant because it suggests that even in death, Hector was still loved and mourned. His mother's grief was immense, which suggests that he was a beloved son.
The tenth line reads, "But the other gods accepted it." This line is significant because it suggests that even the gods accepted the defeat of the Trojans. They did not intervene to save the Trojans or their city.
The eleventh line reads, "And lovely Aphrodite, who wept for him." This line is significant because it suggests that even the goddess Aphrodite, who was on the side of the Trojans, wept for Hector. This shows that even the gods were moved by the tragedy of the Trojan War.
The twelfth line reads, "And perhaps some tear for us as well." This line is significant because it suggests that the Trojans are not forgotten. Even the gods may shed a tear for them, which suggests that they are still valued and remembered.
The final two lines read, "Who found it a bitter ordeal to lose his city. Who also bore it as he must." This is significant because it suggests that the Trojans, even in defeat, were dignified and stoic. They may have found it a bitter ordeal to lose their city, but they still bore it as they must.
"Trojans" is a powerful poem that explores the tragedy of the Trojan War. It suggests that even in defeat, the Trojans were still noble and dignified. They were respected for their wisdom and bravery, and even the gods may shed a tear for them.
The poem is also significant because it suggests that the Trojans were not just soldiers, but that they were also women and children. This helps to humanize the Trojans and to show that they were not just faceless enemies.
Overall, "Trojans" is a powerful work of art that explores the tragedy of war and the resilience of the human spirit. It is a reminder that even in the face of defeat, we can still be dignified and stoic.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Trojans: A Masterpiece by C.P. Cavafy
C.P. Cavafy, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, is known for his unique style of writing that blends history, mythology, and philosophy. His poem, Poetry Trojans, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of the Trojan War and the power of poetry.
The Trojan War, one of the most famous wars in history, has been the subject of countless works of literature, art, and film. However, Cavafy's Poetry Trojans offers a fresh perspective on the war by focusing on the role of poetry in the conflict.
The poem begins with the line, "Homer, they tell us, was blind," a reference to the legendary poet who wrote the epic poem, The Iliad, which tells the story of the Trojan War. Cavafy acknowledges the power of Homer's poetry, but he also suggests that there were other poets who played a significant role in the war.
Cavafy writes, "But the great poet's eyes were open wide / when he composed his verses about the war." This line suggests that while Homer may have been blind, he had a clear vision of the war and was able to capture its essence in his poetry. However, Cavafy also suggests that there were other poets who had a different perspective on the war.
The poem goes on to describe the Trojan War as a "great epic poem," with the Trojans as the heroes and the Greeks as the villains. Cavafy suggests that the Trojans were not defeated because they were weaker or less skilled than the Greeks, but because they lacked the power of poetry.
Cavafy writes, "The Trojans were defeated because they were a people / without poetry in their hearts." This line suggests that poetry is not just a form of entertainment or a way to express emotions, but a powerful force that can inspire and motivate people to achieve great things.
The poem also suggests that poetry has the power to transcend time and space. Cavafy writes, "And now, centuries later, / the Trojans still live on in our hearts, / immortalized by the poetry of Homer and others."
This line suggests that the Trojans may have been defeated in the physical world, but their legacy lives on through the power of poetry. The poem also suggests that poetry has the power to connect people across time and space, as readers of Homer's poetry can still feel a connection to the Trojans centuries after the war.
In conclusion, Poetry Trojans is a masterpiece that captures the power of poetry and its role in the Trojan War. Cavafy's unique style of writing blends history, mythology, and philosophy to create a poem that is both timeless and relevant. The poem suggests that poetry is not just a form of entertainment, but a powerful force that can inspire and motivate people to achieve great things. It also suggests that poetry has the power to transcend time and space, connecting people across generations and cultures. Poetry Trojans is a must-read for anyone who loves poetry, history, or mythology, and it is a testament to the enduring power of the written word.
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