Temethos, Antiochian, A.D. 400

Lines written by young Temethos, madly in love.
The tile: "Emonidis" -the favourite
of Antiochos Epiphanis; a very good-looking young man
from Samosata. But if the lines come out
ardent, full of feeling, it's because Emonidis
(belonging to another, much older time:
the 137th year of the Greek kingdom,
maybe a bit earlier) is in the poem
merely as a name -a suitable one nevertheless.
The poem gives voice to the love Temethos feels,
a beautiful kind of love, worthy of him. We the initiated-
his intimate friends- we the initiated
know about whom those lines were written.
The unsuspecting Antiochians read simply "Emonidis".

Constantine P. Cavafy

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