The Great Yes

By C.P. Cavafy

Translated By Edmund Keeley And Philip Sherrard

For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,

he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he’d still say no. Yet that no—the right no—
drags him down all his life.

This Poem Features In:

Browse Collections By Category

Select from our entire catalogue of poetry collections: