Saturday, 11 January 2014

Pasternak Time: “Twelve versions of Hamlet”


Pasternak Time: “Twelve versions of Hamlet”

Twelve versions of Hamlet
Were found among his papers.
Workmanlike, as critics say,
Or was this, say, just an honest day’s pay
In the worker’s paradise?
The father will be obeyed,
He will not be denied:
Twelve versions of Hamlet
Write and rewrite that writing counts
And the state is corrupt,
Lying all over the place.
The established playgoer
Watches the playacting prince
Do his twelve versions of Hamlet
So socially so really really real
He could be mistaken
For a social realist,
While murders happen offstage,
Women go mad for some reason,
And you would dearly wish yourself
To be living in another country.
Where are the armies going now?
What’s to laugh about in a graveyard?
As one after another the leaders
Are disappeared or reappeared
Or kill each other out in the open
With words or swords,
Lying all over the place.
The lucky ones leave at midnight
For the writer’s dacha in yon woods,
Or legal asylum in Denmark somewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment