Costantine P. Cavafy

C. P. Cavafy: ARS POETICA (in inglese)

After the already  settled Emendatory Work, a philosophical scrutiny of my poems should be made. Flagrant inconstancies, illogical possibilities, ridiculous exaggerations should certainly be corrected in the poems; and where the corrections cannot be made the poems should be sacrificed, retaining only any verses of such sacrificed poems as might prove useful later on in the making of new work. Still the spirit in which the Scrutiny is to be conducted should not be too fanatical. The profit of personal experience is undoubtedly a sound one; but were it strictly observed it would limit tremendously literary production and even philosophical production.


​​​​​​​Plutarch, in his life of Solo, remarks that much the greater number of people whose hearts are either by nature or artifice shut to the tender feelings inspired by affection of any kind have been observed to bestow their feelings on objects absolutely unworthy and despicable. This theory can aptly be illustrated and confirmed by the doters on animals who have seldom earned reputation as philanthropes; and though this be but a light subject of speculation, still it affords so many examples that it should not pass unnoticed in a work professing to treat not so much of serious matters as of light matters seriously.  

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