|Sean Connery recites Ithaca by C. Cavafis|
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Some years ago, two good friends, movie star Sean Connery and composer Vangelis, joined forces releasing a single to honour one of the greatest Greek composers from the 20th. Century: Constantynos Cavafis.
So, in a similar way that Vangelis did in "Night of the Poetry", when he hosted an evening of recited poems with improvised music in the background; on this time Sean Connery´s imposing voice brings to the audience the verses of "Ithaca", one of the most celebrated poems written by Cavafis. And the quiet and solemn music composed by Vangelis (one of the greatest composers of our time) perfectly fits with the narration, creating an evocative and magical atmosphere.
As you set out for Ithaca
hope that your journey is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare sensation
touches your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon - you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope that your journey is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and learn again from those who know.
Keep Ithaca always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so that you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithacas mean.
When we read this poem, we can easily make an analogy between the legendary travel narrated in Homer´s Oddisey and our own lives. On this work, Ulysses (or Oddyseus) takes an amazing trip full of risks and adventures before reaching Ithaca, his homeland.
And in Cavafys' poem, we are concerned about the idea of our lives being like a long journey where we should make the most of it. If you live wisely, collecting experiences, travels and making your dreams come true, it will be like a long journey that makes you a better person, like Ulysses when he returned to Ithaca and met his beloved Penelope after those long years...
So don´t waste your time, try to live fully and gain as much experiencies as you can. Otherwise... what´s the meaning of life?