Friday, November 29, 2013

Shakespeare-Related Poem: "When Everything is Goneril" by Lee Patton

Patton, Lee. "When Everything is Goneril." In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Ed. David Starkey and Paul J. Willis. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2005. 87.

This is the fifth poem in our series of great poems related to Shakespeare written by modern authors.

The last poem was quite fun.

This one brings it down a bit.

Somehow, I feel a bit like a Poetry Deejay of sorts.

But let that be as it may be while I spin the latest wax 45 by Lee Patton.
Lee Patton

When Everything is Goneril

what wouldn’t you give for something Foolish,
for blazing double entendre and illuminating wit
as sharp as a servant’s truth? What wouldn’t you give
to weave a garland in your young daughter’s hair
and spend the whole day under the wide sky
in a field where wildflowers beckon, unpicked?
Then, tired, giddy, all you’d yearn for’s home.

But there stands Goneril: hospitality has claws,
duty’s barbaric with ancient grievances, and
she does, after all, hold the deed by birth, by law.
Though love is often declaimed, it’s really disowned,
houseless in this ungenerous land—send to wander
in bald lots, sent to sleep under cardboard punctured
for a glimpse of smudged and savage stars.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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