C. P. Cavafy

Constantine Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis) (1863 - 1933) was an Greek poet, journalist and civil servant.

He was born in Alexandria, Egypt. His father was a wealthy importer-exporter, however, when his father died in 1870, Cavafy and his family had to move to Liverpool, UK, though he moved back to Alexandria in 1882.

The outbreak of riots there in 1885 meant the family had to move again, this time to Constantinople. In 1885 Cavafy moved back to Alexandria, where he lived for the rest of his life. He originally worked as a journalist, but then worked for the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works for thirty years.

From 1891-1904 he published his poetry in broadsheet form for his close friends, receiving little acclaim during his lifetime. He died in 1933.

Since his death, Cavafy's reputation has grown, and he is now considered to be one of the finest modern Greek poets. His poems often deal with themes of Greek history, and homosexual love.

One of Cavafy's poems has been quoted in the recent novel Music, In a Foreign Language by Andrew Crumey.


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