Che Fece…Il Gran Rifiuto
For certain people there comes a day
when they are called upon to say the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has
the Yes within him at the ready, which he will say
as he advances in honor, in great self-belief.
He who refuses has no second thoughts. Asked
again, he would repeat the No. And nonetheless
that No—so right—defeats him all his life.
--C.P. Cavafy, trans. by Daniel Mendelsohn