Photo: © Matt Mendelsohn
About the Author
Constantine Petrou Cavafy, widely recognized as the greatest of modern Greek poets, was born in Alexandria in 1863 into a family originally from Constantinople. After some childhood years spent in England and a stay in Constantinople in the early 1880s, he lived his entire life in Alexandria. It was there that he would write and (for the most part) self-publish the poems for which he became known, working all the while as a clerk in the Irrigation Office of the Egyptian government. His poetry was first brought to the attention of the English-speaking public in 1919 by E. M. Forster, whom he had met during the First World War. Cavafy died in Alexandria on April 29, 1933, his seventieth birthday; the first commercially published collection of his work appeared posthumously, in Alexandria, in 1935.