A spiritual journey

Constantine P. Cavafy ‘s verse form “Ithaka” portrays a journey which can be seen from several positions. Besides holding a clear connexion to ancient Grecian literature and mythology, it has a clear indicant of a religious journey of a pilgrim, merely like Dante Alighieri ‘s projection of the journey in the Divina Comedia ( The Divine Comedy ) . Very significantly in this instance, the journey should be clearly understood as a journey of the head than of the organic structure, as a affair of fact the poet is non at all mentioning to any physical journey. Cavafy is clearly giving life to this journey which is above all practical impressions supplying it with metaphoric symbolisms. He is even supplying an rational facet to this journey alongside the spiritualism nowadays in it, as brought to the notice before. We can easy supply a summing up of the subject of the verse form harmonizing to the poet as a projection that it is nevertheless better to travel than to make a certain finish. Somehow, the poet is continuing the prognostication that the end is non ever the most of import thing in one ‘s life.

However, in order to analyse the verse form in footings of personal experiences, one must hold a clear position of the mentions used in the text, particularly the 1s that refer to the early Grecian civilization. Above everything else, we must understand the significance of Ithaka. Ithaka or Ithaca, as we may see, was a really of import city state when taking into history the early Greek heroic poem, The Odyssey and its prequel The Iliad. The Odyssey, as composed orally by Homer, is the narrative of Odysseus ‘ homecoming from the war of Troy. Odysseus, the swayer of Ithaca had to get the better of all the hurdlings before returning to his capital, ten old ages after the decision of the besieging of Ilium or Troy. He had to contend the Cyclops, the one eyed giants ; and had to kill their leader, Polyphemos. He had to overmaster the Laistrygonians, the elephantine man-eaters who ate many of his comrades and destroyed 11 of his 12 ships. He had to get away from Ogygia, where he was kept as a prisoner by the nymph Calypso. Above all, he had to get away the wrath of Poseidon, the Greek sea God, who was enraged on Odysseus because of the decease of Polyphemus, the Cyclops who really was Poseidon ‘s boy. Harmonizing to The Odyssey, the Gods pitied Odysseus, as he was being unable to return back to his state and household. Homer puts it as, “All the Gods pitied him [ Odysseus ] , / Except Poseidon, who contented unremittingly / with divine Odysseus, till the adult male reached his ain land.” ( Homer ) . The Odyssey is really an acoount of the journey of Odyssey as portrayed by Homer. Similarly Cavafy, in his verse form “Ithaka” has portrayed a journey, but of class non of a physical one, but more of a religious and rational journey. The mentions to the Cyclops, Laistrygonians and Poseidon are surely fables stand foring hurdlings and obstructors in a individual ‘s journey of life.

The poet, C.P. Cavafy, has stressed on the length of the journey, over and over once more. In the first lines of the first poetry, he has presented his hope to stress on that factor by stating, “As you set out for Ithaka / hope your route is a long one, ” ( Cavafy ) and so once more reiterating, “Hope your route is a long one.” ( Cavafy ) in the beging line of the 2nd poetry. The jorney to Ithaka can besides be considered as the religious journey of a individual in the class of his life, where one is certain to confront troublesome hurdlings and roadblocks. The hurdlings in a individual ‘s life has been metaphorically represented by the visions of the Cyclops, the Laistrygonians and Poseidon, that Odysseus faced on his return to Ithaca from Troy.

The journey to Ithaka, as projected by the poet, can besides be deciphired as a journey to achieve infinity and blessedness, merely as Dante did in his secondary heroic poem, Divina Comedia [ The Divine Comedy ] . The poet refers to Itaka as a finish “…you ‘re destined for.” ( Cavafy ) , therefore if one looks at this journey from a religious point of position, so it can be deciphered as a journey to achieve Eden or infinity, on geting which the hurdlings do non look to be painful. The poet has emphasized on the journey more than the finish, though he has prophesized that the end should be kept in head cause that is the chief purpose of the journey. He puts it rather merely by stating, “Keep Ithaka ever in your head. / Arriving there is what you ‘re destined for.” ( Cavafy ) . But so he besides says, “But do n’t travel rapidly the journey at all. / Better if it lasts for old ages, / so you ‘re old by the clip you reach the island, ” ( Cavafy ) .

The poet has besides advised the pilgrim, non to be afraid and besides as a affair of fact, non to believe of the hurdlings in the class of his journey. He has proposed that these hurdlings would look to happen merely if one idea about them continuously. In the get downing portion of the verse form, he discusses about the beginning of the hurdlings as the 1s that takes their birth from the head of the pilgrim. He has put it finely by saying, “Laistrygonians, Cyclops, / wild Poseidon-you wo n’t meet them / unless you bring them along indoors your psyche, / unless your psyche sets them up in forepart of you.” ( Cavafy ) .

From a more personal point of position, one can besides decode this journey every bit merely as the homecoming of an person who has stayed far off from his or her place for a considerable period of clip. This impression comes to mind as the poet provinces in the concluding lines of the 3rd poetry, “Ithaka gave you the fantastic journey. / Without her you would n’t hold set out.” ( Cavafy ) . In that instance, the journey that is symbolised in the verse form is one that would hold a complete different position. The “old” age that is referred can be said as an indicant to back up this impression. The homecoming of a individual who is wholly loaded with personal experiences and rational values and thoughts is portrayed by the poet by saying, “wealthy with all you ‘ve gained on the manner, / non anticipating Ithaka to do you rich.” ( Cavafy ) .

The personal experience that one gathers throughout his or her life is projected by the poet in the 2nd poetry when he states, “May at that place be many summer forenoons when, / with what pleasance, what joy, / you enter seaports you ‘re seeing for the first clip ; / may you halt at Phoenician trading Stationss / to purchase all right things, / female parent of pearl and coral, brownish-yellow and coal black, / animal aroma of every kind- / as many animal aromas as you can ; / and may you see many Egyptian metropoliss / to larn and travel on larning from their scholars.” ( Cavafy ) . The mentions to the “summer mornings” , “harbors” , “Phoenician trading stations” , “fine things” , “pearl ( s ) ” , “perfumes” , “Egyptian cities” and the Egyptian “scholars” are nil but symbols and fables that points towards the personal experiences one collects in the class of one ‘s life. They refer to one ‘s experience, wisdom, intellectuality and adulthood, which are merely earned through old age.

Finally Cavafy says, “And if you find her hapless, Ithaka wo n’t hold fooled you. Wise as you will hold become, so full of experience, ” ( Cavafy ) , which can bespeak that 1 does n’t necessitate any wealths and mercenary objects when 1 is at the brink of one ‘s decease. This once more can take us to the impression of the religious journey, as discussed earlier. The poet can bespeak that 1 does n’t necessitate any mercenary objects, wealths and reflecting artefacts when one seeks for infinity. It is through the forfeit of these things, that one can make Eden. Hence Cavafy notifies that on making infinity, one should non fault it, if he or she finds that it contains no cherished objects, because he ‘s already wise and experienced plenty to understand that.

Finally to reason on the subject, it should be noted that beside the metaphorical and allegorical values that the verse form, “Ithaka” by Constantine P. Cavafy, it besides indicates a journey of the head and the psyche that can hold both rational and personal positions but most significantly a journey which is more religious and directs a pilgrim in hunt of blessedness or infinity. Cavafy has finely sewn the religious journey with the mythologies and literatures of ancient Greece. With mentions from the Greek epic The Odyssey by Homer, the poet has punctually addressed the journey in an appropriate mode, where the obstructors faced by its supporter Odysseus, has been used as fables to project the obstructions and barriers that are faced by a common adult male or a pilgrim in his or her journey.