C.P. Cavafy: Poetry Background

C.P. Cavafy: Poetry Background

C.P. Cavafy is a unique poet with a distinctive writing style. His poems are simple, straight forward and direct as Cavafy does not use tools like metaphors and other poetic devices. Because of his unique way of writing he has been categorized as an “anti-poetic” poet. In his poem “The City.” which is the first poem in the collection the reader can clearly see his “anti-poetic” style.

Other poet think that his works are different than the norm, but still very poetic. Even though he does not use the tools commonly seen in poetic culture, he still has a musical aspect to his writing. Cavafy uses rhyme excessively in poems, as well as meter and with that he draws himself back to the normal poetic ways somewhat. A good example of a poem that is written in that way is “The Retinue of Dionysus”

Finally, it is important to understand the way Cavafy uses the Greek language. He balances the poems between two ways of the Greek language. One being the formal Greek language used in literature and high politics and the other being the more down to earth way of speaking or “common tongue”

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