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But Wise Men Perceive Approaching Things
(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

But Wise Men Perceive Approaching Things

Poem By Constantine P. Cavafy

Because gods perceive future things, men what is happening now,
but wise men perceive approaching things.

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, VIII, 7.


Men know what is happening now.
The gods know the things of the future,
the full and sole possessors of all lights.
Of the future things, wise men perceive
approaching things. Their hearing

is sometimes, during serious studies,
disturbed. The mystical clamor
of approaching events reaches them.
And they heed it with reverence. While outside
on the street, the peoples hear nothing at all.

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