Seamus Heaney - Cavafy - Poetry Analysis

Cavafy: ‘The rest I’ll speak of to the ones below in Hades’

Cavafy: ‘The rest I’ll speak of to the ones below in Hades’   Heaney offers a version of C.P. Cavafy’s poem «Tα δ’ άλλα εν Άδου τοις  κάτω μυθήσομαι» The poem set in classical times contrasts the views of an important figure governing an ancient Greek province with those of a sophist ‘philosopher’ in his company. The dialogue exposes the imponderable aspects of belief in respect of the afterlife, reckoned in classical Antiquity to reside below in Hades. The title reproduces the last words spoken by Ajax in Sophocles’ drama of that name before he impaled himself on his sword. A proconsul judges a line read from the ancient scroll to be true. Furthermore, poetry expounding what in Ajax’s community led the heroic warrior to kill himself is to his mind beautiful/ Sophocles at his most philosophical. Like Ajax he will one day be liberated from his earthly condition and to his mind enter a better […read more….]