'beloved sensation'

CP Cavafy.jpg


by C. P. Cavafy



Return often and take me,
beloved sensation, return and take me -
when the memory of the body awakens,
and old desire runs again through the blood;
when the lips and the skin remember,
and the hands feel as if they touch again.

Return often and take me at night,
when the lips and the skin remember...

by C. P. Cavafy

From 'The Complete Poems of C.P. Cavafy', by C. P. Cavafy, translated by Rae Dalven (W.H. Auden, New York 1961.)


Poem as Friend to John

Returnby C. P. Cavafy

In this episode you will hear John talking about the poem that has been a friend to him - 'Return' by C. P. Cavafy - translated by Rae Dalven.

 The reading of the Greek poem you can hear in this episode is from: C.P. Cavafy, The Collected Poems, OUP 2007 (includes a parallel Greek/English text).

John is our first 'Long Distance' visitor to The Poetry Exchange via Skype! Joining us from Athens, John is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, Fiona Bennett and John Prebble, who were together in London for the conversation.

'Return' is read by John Prebble.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.