Treasure Island

gershon hepner

(5 3 38 / leipzig)

difference between lie and lay


THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAY
AND LIE

Those who do not know the difference between lay
and lie are fit for spoils and stratagems,
like Jessica, whom hearing music made less gay
than all the goyim, and the Bard condemns
implicitly, although a convert. Like the rented
animals that you may see performing in Aïda,
theirs is a presence I have unreluctantly resented,
and hope that you agree, self-righteous reader.

Inspired by a reading of “Rhode Island” by William Meredith (Poet Laureate from 1978 to 1980) , broadcast by Dennis Bartel on KUSC, and David Nireberg’s interpretation of Merchant of Venice in his book Anti-Judaism reflected in my poem “Shylock, Barabbas, Amelia Bassano”:

RHODE ISLAND
Here at the seashore they use the clouds over & over
again, like the rented animals in Aïda.
In the late morning the land breeze
turns and now the extras are driving
all the white elephants the other way.
What language are the children shouting in?
He is lying on the beach listening.

The sand knocks like glass, struck by bare heels.
He tries to remember snow noise.
Would powder snow ping like that?
But you don't lie with your ear to powder snow.
Why doesn't the girl who takes care
of the children, a Yale girl without flaw,
know the difference between lay and lie?

He tries to remember snow, his season.
The mind is in charge of things then.
Summer is for animals, the ocean is erotic,
all that openness and swaying.
No matter how often you make love
in August you're always aware of genitalia,
your own and the half-naked others'.
Even with the gracefulest bathers
you're aware of their kinship with porpoises,
mammals disporting themselves in a blue element,
smelling slightly of fish. Porpoise Hazard
watches himself awhile, like a blue movie.

In the other hemisphere now people
are standing up, at work at their easels.
There they think about love at night
when they take off their serious clothes
and go to bed sandlessly, under blankets.

Today the children, his own among them,
are apparently shouting fluently in Portuguese,
using the colonial dialect of Brazil.
It is just as well, they have all been changed
into small shrill marginal animals,
he would not want to understand them again
until after Labor Day. He just lays there.



7/2/13 #13477

Submitted: Monday, July 08, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

inspired by william meredith

Comments about this poem (difference between lie and lay by gershon hepner )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Climbing Stairs, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  2. Today I Thought About You, Kyle Schlicher
  3. المسير الطويل, مالك حداد
  4. To Be Inside You, Kyle Schlicher
  5. You, Colin Ian Jeffery
  6. Nje portret dashurie kam mbetur..., skender iljaz braka
  7. Escape From - Lincoln Park Zoo, Ima Ryma
  8. Heartless Souls, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. سأعطيك النهار الجميل, مالك حداد
  10. Everyday Options, RoseAnn V. Shawiak

Poem of the Day

poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

The mist has left the greening plain,
The dew-drops shine like fairy rain,
The coquette rose awakes again
Her lovely self adorning.

The Wind is hiding in the trees,
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. Sunday Morning, Louis Macneice
  5. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  6. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Morning, Paul Laurence Dunbar
  9. Let America be America Again, Langston Hughes
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]