Unique in Greek literature is the emotive poetry of the Alexandrian poet Constantine Cavafy.

Cavafy sees poetry as a redeeming agent amidst an alienating world. He explores, but in his own way, the common contemporary theme of the defeated man, loneliness and futility. Having an intense belief in the depth of human decency and pride, he expresses in his peculiar poetic language the decline of our civilization. He exploits the myths of the Hellenistic period, especially those whose theme is transition and confusion, that allow comparisons with contemporary decline, and also myths of the Greco-Roman era (more rarely of the Byzantine age) in which he talks about his preoccupations and human destiny. His poems can be distinguished into historical, philosophical and erotic themes. His language, a mixture of scholarly and popular forms, lends his poetry its unique flavour.
The work of Cavafy opened up new horizons for poetry in every respect; but it was rejected or simply neglegted by his contemporaries and subsequent generations, to be later 'rediscovered' and eventually to find its place among the greatest poetic creations of the world.