Be Rich with All You Gain On the Way – a travel poem & Sean Connery

The journey may not always be smoothe. The road may be a little rough. But savor it none-the-less.

The journey may not always be smooth. The road may be a little rough. But it is there to savor and grow rich from.

I don’t believe that the importance of the journey has ever been so eloquently expressed.

Written over 100 years ago by C.P. Cavafy (29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933) the poem, Ithaka, is as relevant as ever. Its beauty in ideas and language is deserving of our attention as it will give voice to much of what you have thought and take your thoughts farther.

After you have enjoyed it in your own internal voice, listen to Sean Connery’s reading in the Youtube video at the end.

I hope you enjoy.

A newly published book of poetry.

A newly published book of poetry.


by C.P. Cavafy
translated from Greek by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
found in Poems that Make Grown Men Cry

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

  • Trisha Andrus

    Really good….makes you think and feel. Thanks so much!