This is a selection of thirty-four poems from quite a large body of work, and like any selection it is very much a personal matter. To the extent that it is personal, we'll say nothing in its defence: if your favourite poem's missing - well, we're sorry, but we shan't explain. However, there are other factors. Some poems that we wanted to include are missing, for they stubbornly resisted our attempts to make them work in English. Others were omitted for the still more prosaic reason that the collection was getting too large. We haven't given up on the stubborn ones, and we hope to include them in a later collection, together with the overflow from this one.
We have made our selection from all of the material now published in Greek editions, and have included some of the ones that Kavafis saw published or generally circulated in his lifetime, some of the ones that remained in his notebooks, and some that he rejected - often, apparently, because he felt that their content, treatment, and point of view would have been unacceptable at the time (even in Alexandria).
On a purely practical point, for those with graphical browsers, many of the poems' arrangement on the page makes standard presentation in WWW format difficult. Rather than present some of the poems standardly (and attractively) and others in `preformatted' (that is, essentially typewriter) format, they all appear preformatted. It's not so attractive, but it's readable and uniform. For those using non-graphical browsers such as Lynx, you won't notice any of this.
Peter J. King
( to the contents page.)