The God Abandons Antony

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"The God Abandons Antony" (Greek: Ἀπολείπειν ὁ θεὸς Ἀντώνιον; also translated as "The God Forsakes Antony") is a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy, published in 1911. The poem refers to Plutarch's story of how Antony, besieged in Alexandria by Octavian, heard the sounds of instruments and voices of a procession making its way through the city, then passing out; the god Bacchus (Dionysus), Antony's protector, was deserting him;[1] the poem's title itself is a verbatim quotation from Plutarch's text.[1]


Leonard Cohen freely adapted the poem for his song "Alexandra Leaving" (Ten New Songs, 2001).[2] Whereas Cavafy's theme was based around the city of Alexandria, Cohen's version builds around a woman named Alexandra.


  1. ^ a b Plutarch (1920). "Antony 75.3–4". Plutarch's Lives. 9. With an English Translation by Bernadotte Perrin. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press; William Heinemann Ltd. "Antony 75.3–4". Plutarch's Lives (in Greek). At the Perseus Project.
  2. ^ "The god abandons Antony". Leonard Cohen: The Leonard Cohen Files.

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