'Hidden' by C.P. Cavafy
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From all I've done and all I've said
let them not seek to find who I've been.
An obstacle stood and transformed
my acts and way of my life.
An obstacle stood and stopped me
many a time as I was going to speak.
My most unobserved acts,
and my writitings the most covered --
thence only they will feel me.
But mayhaps it is not worth to spend
this much care and this much effort to know me.
For -- in the more perfect society --
someone else like me created
will certainly appear and freely act.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Hidden: Unveiling The Beauty Of C.P. Cavafy's Poem
Writers have this uncanny ability to capture raw human emotions in words. They're the mirror that reflects the truth of what we feel, sometimes even when we're not aware of it. One such writer who has an exceptional talent for that is Constantine P. Cavafy, a Greek poet born in Alexandria, Egypt. His poem, Hidden, is a masterpiece in itself, which unfolds the complexity of human desires and the pain of unfulfilled dreams.
Hidden is a rather short poem, consisting of only 14 lines. But the beauty of this poem lies in its simplicity. It's like a rich, decadent dessert that leaves you satisfied with just a small bite. The poem speaks about the idea of the unattainable and the pain that it brings. It's about the things we desire but can't have and the agony that comes with it.
The first line of the poem sets the tone for what's to come:
"From what I cannot hold, the stars are made."
The speaker of the poem is acknowledging the beauty of the stars, but also the fact that they're unreachable. The stars are something that we admire from afar, but can't possess. The use of the word "hold" is interesting because it implies that the speaker is trying to grasp onto something, but it's slipping away from them. This sets up the theme of the poem – the idea of unattainability – perfectly.
The second line of the poem creates a juxtaposition of sorts:
"I'm the dreamer who gets to linger near them."
The speaker acknowledges that they can't have the stars, but they can still "linger near them" in their dreams. This line is significant because it's the first hint the speaker gives us about what they desire. They want to be close to something they can't have.
The third and fourth lines of the poem are perhaps the most powerful:
"It's not enough to have this globe or a world of stars, because I have the rights of a natural man."
The speaker is saying that having the world, or even a world of stars, isn't enough for them because they have the "rights of a natural man." This line is significant because it's the first time we get a glimpse into the speaker's mind. They're not content with just having what's readily available to them. They want something more, something that's beyond their reach. The phrase "the rights of a natural man" is interesting because it implies that the speaker believes they're entitled to something more than what they have.
The fifth and sixth lines of the poem show the agony of unfulfilled desires:
"They don't know - who, out of longing, both endlessly wandering and in love with wandering, has no earthly thing that he can touch or hold."
The speaker is saying that those who have what they desire don't understand the pain of wanting something that's unattainable. The phrase "out of longing" is significant because it implies that the speaker is in pain because of their unfulfilled desires. They're "endlessly wandering" and "in love with wandering" because they're searching for something that they can never have. The use of the phrase "no earthly thing that he can touch or hold" emphasizes the fact that the speaker's desires are beyond their reach.
The seventh and eighth lines of the poem create a sense of despair:
"They don't know that, in the soul, there is a longing for the stars, and that the heart is wretched."
The speaker is saying that those who have what they desire don't understand that there's a "longing for the stars" in their soul. This line is significant because it shows that the speaker's desire is not a passing fancy, but something that's deeply rooted in them. The phrase "the heart is wretched" is powerful because it shows the pain that comes with unfulfilled desires. The speaker's heart is in pain because they can't have what they desire.
The ninth and tenth lines of the poem are a plea:
"I would like to tell them to quit wandering around, pursuing the stars, because I'm content with this globe."
The speaker is saying that they wish they could tell those who have what they desire to stop pursuing the stars because they're content with what they have. This line is significant because it shows the speaker's desire to be content with what they have, but they can't. The phrase "pursuing the stars" emphasizes the fact that the speaker's desire is beyond their reach.
The eleventh and twelfth lines of the poem are a contradiction:
"With my jealous heart, I envy the people who are in the world or in love, because they have something to cling to."
The speaker is saying that they envy those who have what they desire because they have "something to cling to." This line is significant because it shows the contradiction in the speaker's mind. They want to be content with what they have, but they can't because their desire is too strong.
The thirteenth and fourteenth lines of the poem are a revelation:
"I too want to be in the world or in love, but I'm not willing to give up my longing."
The speaker is saying that they too desire to be in the world or in love, but they're not willing to give up their longing for the stars. This line is significant because it shows that the speaker is aware of their desire, but they can't let it go. The phrase "not willing to give up" emphasizes the fact that the speaker's desire is too strong to be ignored.
The beauty of Hidden lies in its ability to capture the pain of unfulfilled desires. The poem is a reflection of the human condition – our desire for something more, something beyond our reach. The speaker's desire for the stars is a metaphor for our own desires, whether it's for love, success, or happiness. We all have something that we're searching for, something that's beyond our grasp.
The irony of the poem is that the speaker acknowledges that they can't have what they desire, but they still hold onto it. This is perhaps the most human aspect of the poem. We all have desires that we can't have, but we still hold onto them, hoping that one day we'll be able to reach them.
In conclusion, Hidden is a masterpiece that captures the pain of unfulfilled desires. It's a reflection of the human condition and our desire for something more. The poem is simple, yet profound, and it speaks to the heart of what it means to be human. C.P. Cavafy's ability to capture raw human emotions in words is truly remarkable, and Hidden is a testament to his skill as a writer.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Hidden: A Masterpiece of Greek Poetry
C.P. Cavafy, the renowned Greek poet, is known for his unique style of writing that blends the ancient Greek culture with modern themes. His poem "Hidden" is a masterpiece that captures the essence of human emotions and the complexities of relationships. The poem is a reflection of the poet's personal experiences and his observations of the society around him. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, symbolism, and literary devices.
The poem "Hidden" is a short but powerful piece that consists of only six lines. The poem is written in free verse, with no specific rhyme or meter. The simplicity of the poem's structure is deceptive, as it belies the depth of emotions and ideas that it conveys. The poem's title, "Hidden," is significant, as it sets the tone for the poem and hints at the theme of secrecy and concealment.
The first line of the poem, "I hide myself within my flower," is a metaphor that suggests the speaker's desire to conceal his true self. The use of the word "flower" is symbolic, as it represents beauty, fragility, and vulnerability. The speaker is using his flower as a shield to protect himself from the outside world. The second line, "That wearing on your breast," suggests that the speaker's flower is a gift to someone he loves. The use of the word "wearing" is significant, as it implies that the flower is not just a decoration but something that is worn close to the heart.
The third line, "You may not see me, but I am there," is a paradoxical statement that highlights the speaker's desire to be both present and invisible. The speaker wants to be close to the person he loves, but he also wants to remain hidden. The fourth line, "I am the perfume that awakens you," is a continuation of the metaphor of the flower. The speaker is not physically present, but his scent is enough to evoke the person's memories and emotions.
The fifth line, "In the garden, in the water, in the sun," is a repetition of the phrase "I am there" from the third line. The speaker is emphasizing his omnipresence, suggesting that he is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The use of the natural elements, such as the garden, water, and sun, is symbolic, as it represents the cycle of life and the passage of time. The speaker is suggesting that his love is eternal and will endure even after he is gone.
The final line, "I am the invisible that protects you," is a powerful statement that encapsulates the poem's theme of secrecy and protection. The speaker is suggesting that his invisibility is not a weakness but a strength. He is protecting the person he loves from the outside world, shielding her from harm and danger.
The poem's themes are universal and timeless, exploring the complexities of human relationships and the desire for secrecy and protection. The poem's use of metaphors and symbolism is masterful, as it conveys the emotions and ideas in a subtle and nuanced way. The poem's structure is simple but effective, as it allows the reader to focus on the words and the meaning behind them.
In conclusion, "Hidden" is a masterpiece of Greek poetry that captures the essence of human emotions and the complexities of relationships. The poem's themes of secrecy and protection are universal and timeless, and its use of metaphors and symbolism is masterful. The poem's structure is simple but effective, allowing the reader to focus on the words and the meaning behind them. C.P. Cavafy's "Hidden" is a testament to the power of poetry and its ability to evoke emotions and ideas that transcend time and space.
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