Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By CoyotePrime (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

The Poet: C.P. Cavafy, “Waiting for the Barbarians”

Monday, November 28, 2016 9:49
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

B4INREMOTE-aHR0cHM6Ly8zLmJwLmJsb2dzcG90LmNvbS8tNVdFbDF1VEtrU2cvV0R4YUpVR3pUYkkvQUFBQUFBQUJ0b2cvZzJMUUNJM2dOUFEtdG1ZSXhmN0FMWE1mZFVEbl9LSzdBQ0xjQi9zNDAwLzIwLTItZTE0NTE5NTA2OTQzNDUuanBn
“Waiting for the Barbarians”
by C.P. Cavafy
“What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
            The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?
            Because the barbarians are coming today.
            What laws can the senators make now?
            Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.
Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?
            Because the barbarians are coming today
            and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
            He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
            replete with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
            Because the barbarians are coming today
            and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
            Because the barbarians are coming today
            and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?
            Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
            And some who have just returned from the border say
            there are no barbarians any longer.
And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.” 

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.