It is almost the time for us to close our chapter in the Netherlands and set off to a new place; this time, we are heading to Italy. At this moment, I want to share a poem written by a great Greek poet, Constantine P. Cavafy. The title is Ithaca, an island in Ionian Sea, Greece. It is famous because in Homer’s Ithaca, it is the home of Odysseus who had to experience lots more than what he wanted to return to his home.

I could not find a Chinese recitation of the poem, but I do find a marvelous version recited by Sean Connery, with a Chinese subtitle. Listen and get inspired!

don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

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伊萨卡

当你启程前往伊萨卡
但愿你的道路漫长,
充满奇迹,充满发现。
莱斯特律戈涅斯巨人,独眼巨人,
愤怒的波塞冬海神——不要怕他们
你将不会在途中碰到诸如此类的怪物,
只要你高扬你的思想,
只要有一种特殊的感觉,
接触你的精神和肉体。
莱斯特律戈涅巨人,独眼巨人,
野蛮的波塞冬海神——你将不会跟他们遭遇
除非你将他们一直带进你的灵魂,
除非你的灵魂将他们树立在你的面前。
但愿你的道路漫长。
但愿那里有很多夏天的早晨,
当你无比快乐与兴奋地
进入你第一次见到的海港:
但愿你在腓尼基人的贸易市场停步
购买精美的物件,
珍珠母和珊瑚,琥珀和黑檀,
各式各样销魂的香水
——你要多销魂就有多销魂
愿你走访众多埃及城市
向那些有识之士讨教并继续讨教。
让伊萨卡常在你心中,
抵达那里是你此行的目的。
但路上不要过于匆促,
最好多延长几年,_
那时当你上得了岛你也就老了,
一路所得已经教你富甲四方,
用不着伊萨卡来让你财源滚滚。
是伊萨卡赐予你如此神奇的旅行,
没有它你可不会启程前来。
现在她再也没有什么可以给你的了。
而如果你发现它原来是这么穷,那可不是伊萨卡想愚弄你。
既然那时你已经变得很聪慧,并且见多识广,
你也就不会不明白,这些伊萨卡意味着什么。

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