A poem which encapsulates my agoraphobia

One thing leads to another…..I love Leonard  Cohen; one of my favourite songs is “Alexandra Leaving”.

Going a little further, I found out that it was based on a poem by a poet called Cavafy, so I bought a book of his poetry, and am very taken by his work….I hadn’t heard of him before. The poem is “The God Forsakes Antony”.

I read more, and more, and I really like his poetry, in many ways. One, however, stood out for me, as it describes how I feel about my agoraphobia(from my own experience, every persons agoraphobia is different; before I had it, I thought it just meant someone who was unable, for whatever reason, to leave the house. It is that, but in many variations….there is so much more to it than that, and unfortunately I only found the hard way….when I realised I have it. In fact, I think(and this is only my own opinion, based on my own experience) that one can’t truly understand it unless you have it, which is both unfortunate and unpleasant.

Anyway, the poem….


Without consideration,without pity, without shame

they have built big and high walls around me.

And now I sit here despairing.

i think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind;

for I had many things to do outside.

Ah why didn’t I observe them when they were building the walls?

But I never heard the noise or the sound of the builders.

imperceptibly they shut me out of the world.

by Constantin Cavafy


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