An Old Man Poem by Constantine P. Cavafy

An Old Man

Rating: 2.8


At the noisy end of the cafe, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.

And in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.

He knows he's aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
So brief an interval, so brief.

And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed - what madness -
that cheat who said: "Tomorrow. You have plenty of time."

He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.

But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the cafe table.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
S H 11 August 2020

Introspection at the end is something very natural.

0 0 Reply
Rajnish Manga 11 August 2017

Amazingly powerful poem which reflects a man's repentance in his old age over his callous approach towards life during youth. Thanks. This enters MyPoemList now.

0 0 Reply
Tony Best 07 November 2007

Beautiful. Makes one want to seize the day, and drain every dropp of joy from life.

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