Cavafy’s Desires and Regrets

In The Adventures of Constantin Cavafy Duane Michals images loosely illustrate Cavafy’s poetry, while investigating themes of lost time, love discovered and remembered, and the sublime realm of the surreal.

 
 

 “Please meet me in the circle of

this conceit. These little fables of my imaginary

theatrics repeat the

mantras of Cavafy’s desires and

regrets, so old today now gone

away. My great friend Joel Grey

will play disguised in glasses,

black suit and tie, Constantine

Cavafy as the dreamer who banishes

God, and as the lover of the glorious

promise of youth,

Who can tell my truth from my lies?

Not I”

Duane Michals

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Confidence in the Eyeglass

The bloodstained glasses of John Lennon. Photo tweeted by Yoko Ono on what would have been her 44th wedding anniversary to Lennon, March 21, 2013

 
 

Confidence in the eyeglass, not in the eye;
in the staircase, never in the stair step;
in the wing, not in the bird
and only in you, and only in you, and only in you.

Confidence in wickedness, not in the wicked;
in the glass, but never in the liquor;
in the corpse, not in the man
and only in you, and only in you, and only in you.

Confidence in many, but no longer in one;
in the riverbed, never in the current;
in your pants, not in your legs
and only in you, and only in you, and only in you.

Confidence in the window, not in the door;

Confidence in the eyeglass, not in the eye;
in the staircase, never in the stair step;
in the wing, not in the bird
and only in you, and only in you, and only in you.

Confidence in wickedness, not in the wicked;
in the glass, but never in the liquor;
in the mother, but not in the nine months;
in destiny, not in the gold dice
and only in you, and only in you, and only in you.

César Vallejo

Creative Optic

Illustration by Jiří Slíva

 
 

First row: А. П. Че́хов (Anton Chekhov); J.R.R. Tolkien; Franz Kafka; Betty MacDonald (misspelled McDonald)

Second row: Jack Kerouac; Marcel Proust; Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; R. Kipling

Third row: Marcel Duchamp; Stendhal; Karl May; Karl Marx

Fourth row: Magritte; S. Freud; Louis Pasteur; Günter Grass

Fifth row: Salvador Dalí; E.M. Remarque; Jaroslav Hašek; Isaac B. Singer