Constantine P. Cavafy – Poems

ANNA KOMNENE

In the prologue of her Alexiad

Anna Komnene laments her widowhood.

Her soul is in vertigo. “And I have rivers

of tears” she says to us “around the eyes…

alas, for the waves” of her life,

“alas, for the revolutions.” Her grief burns her

“to the bones, and the marrow, and the splitting of her soul.”

But the truth seems to be that this power hungry

woman came to know just one intense sorrow;

this proud Greek woman had but one deep regret

(even if she is not admitting it),

that she never managed, with all her cleverness,

to gain the crown; that is was snatched,

almost out of her hands, by the impudent John.

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