Imagined voices, and beloved, too,
of those who died, or of those who are
lost unto us like the dead.
Sometimes in our dreams they speak to us;
sometimes in its thought the mind will hear them.
And with their sound for a moment there return
sounds from the first poetry of our life—
like music, in the night, far off, that fades away.
— Daniel Mendelsohn, poet
Excerpt from C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Translation copyright © 2009 by Daniel Mendelsohn. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
In honor of National Poetry Month, Knopf will give you a free poem every day