written quotes

Lost quotations

Have a look at the lost quotes below and see if you can help us out! (Please note that comments must be suitable for audiences of all ages and may be removed if not.)

"The great yes and the great no..." | 10-Nov-05

"There comes a time
when a man must choose
between the great yes
and the great no. And that no.
The right no. Cripples him
for the rest of his life..."

From a show from the eighties as part of the "Not the RSC Festival" at Stratford

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Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Could it be Che fece ... il gran rifiuto by C.P. Cavafy?

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.
R Angom

Thanks to a visitor to our website, we've found the poem. It's 'Che Fece ... Il Gran Rifiuto' by Constantine Cavafy. The poem can be found in 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, edited by Daisy Goodwin and published by HarperCollins. It's also in Cavafy's Complete Poems (Harcourt, 2001), and dates from the period 1897-1908, and in the anthology Voices of Modern Greece, which was published by Princeton University Press in 1981.
Poetry Library

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