The God Abandons Antony
"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; the poem's title itself is a verbatim quotation from Plutarch's text.
Leonard Cohen freely adapted the poem for his song "Alexandra Leaving" (Ten New Songs, 2001). Whereas Cavafy's theme was based around the city of Alexandria, Cohen's version builds around a woman named Alexandra.
- 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.
- "The god abandons Antony". Leonard Cohen: The Leonard Cohen Files.
- Poem in Greek and English translation thereof (by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard) at the Official Site of the Cavafy Archive
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