Constantine Cavafy

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Who is Constantine Peter Cavafy, and how did his work establish facets of modern European poetry?

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You are likely familiar with the Greek poets Homer and Plato.  There is less chance that you know the modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933).  However, Cavafy is considered to be one of the most significant poets of the modern era, despite the relatively few numbers of poems (just two hundred) that he published and the dearth of critical attention paid to him during his lifetime. 

Although the poet claimed Greece as his home, in fact, Cavafy spent most of his life in Alexandria, Egypt, the setting of many of his poems.  He did not become well-known until he died, in part due to the fact that he offered so few of his poems for publication.  He did, however, distribute many poems to friends.  Those poems (over which he agonized, revising time and again), eventually made their way to publication, where they garnered the critical attention they deserved, and established Cavafy as one of the most important voices in modern Greek literature. Among the things critics find to...

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