gershon hepner

(5 3 38 / leipzig)

appetite that's princely got


An appetite that’s princely got
will not disturb a prince a lot,
but may disturb his underlings
who are not destined to be kings.
That is the reason men bear grudges
against the people who succeed
far more than they, becoming judges,
defining appetite as greed.
You need, to understand a joke,
a sense of humor; those who lack it
are like those made by blowing broke
who blame their non-existent racket.
That is the reason why I think
such judges to be mere small beers,
whose attitude to finest drink
is like to fair Cordelia Lear’s.

Inspired by an excerpt from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II, which inspired Javier Marías to entitle one of his books “Thy Face Tomorrow, ” inspiring me to write as poem with that title. While “Thy Face Tomorrow” is about going into exile, this poem I about the judges who send people there.

In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Act II, Scene II, Prince Hal asks Poins, after asking him: “Does it make me seem coarse and common to say that I’d love a small beer? ” and being told, “Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to remember so weak a composition:
Belike then my appetite was not princely got, for, by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature small beer. But indeed these humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name, or to know thy face tomorrow, or to take note how any pair of silk stockings thou hast—with these, and those that were thy peach-colored ones—or to bear the inventory thy shirts, as, one for superfluity and another for use. But that the tennis-court keeper knows better than I, for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when thou keepest not racket here, as thou hast not done a great while, because the rest of the low countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland; and God knows whether those that bawl out the ruins of thy linen shall inherit His kingdom; but the midwives say the children are not in the fault, whereupon the world increases and kindreds are mightily strengthened.

12/25/09

Submitted: Friday, December 25, 2009

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