Anna Comnena

In the prologue to her Alexiad,
Anna Comnena laments her widowhood.

Her soul is dizzy. "And with rivers
of tears," she tells us "I wet
my eyes... Alas for the waves" in her life,
"alas for the revolts." Pain burns her
"to the the bones and the marrow and the cleaving of the soul."

But it seems the truth is, that this ambitious woman
knew only one great sorrow;
she only had one deep longing
(though she does not admit it) this haughty Greek woman,
that she was never able, despite all her dexterity,
to acquire the Kingship; but it was taken
almost out of her hands by the insolent John.

by Constantine P. Cavafy

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