The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and Growing Lion Cubs

Arthur's Anthology of English Poetry
By Laurence Lerner

To be or not to be, that is the question
To justify the ways of God to men
There was a time when meadow grove and stream
The dropping of the daylight in the west
Otters below and moorhens on the top
Had fallen in Lyonesse about their Lord.

There was a time when moorhens on the top
To justify the daylight in the west,
To be or not to be about their Lord
Had fallen in Lyonesse from God to men;
Otters below and meadow grove and stream,
The dropping of the day, that is the question.

A time when Lyonesse and grove and stream
To be the daylight in the west on top
When meadow otters fallen about their Lord
To justify the moorhens is the question
Or not to be the dropping God to men
There was below the ways that is a time.

To be in Lyonesse, that is the question
To justify the otters, is the question
The dropping of the meadows, is the question

I do not know the answer to the question

There was a time when moorhens in the west
There was a time when daylight on the top
There was a time when God was not a question

There was a time when poets

                  Then I came


We got up early on Sunday to go to the National Zoo, which we figured might be mobbed if we got there too close to lunchtime (in fact it was mobbed when we arrived, even though DC residents had been warned against both driving and taking the Metro due to construction closures and World Bank protests). We wanted to see the lion cubs while they were still little, though they are much bigger now than when we first saw them the weekend the public was first allowed to do so! They now share the enclosure with their father, who appeared to be very tolerant of having cubs swatting his face and roaring at him (the two moms were growlier). We also went to see the new elephant trail, the bird house, the giant pandas, Amazonia, and various other animals, though the baby anteater was inside while we were at the zoo and we only saw his dad.


Adam was invited to a birthday party at a Mexican restaurant in the evening that turned into a sleepover; the rest of us had eggplant parmesan, which was awesome. Then we watched the first episode of Game of Thrones, which I thought was somewhat less awesome despite having a cast I really like -- maybe I am just spoiled on fantasy epics at this point, but hearing Sean Bean announce in the pre-show hype that it's the biggest thing he's ever been involved with just makes me roll my eyes, considering that he was involved with The Lord of the Rings, and having seen the beginning of this, it feels like derivative Tolkien and Lewis with more mean-spiritedness and lots more sex. I could say the same about The Borgias vis a vis various other historical epics; The Lion in Winter did not need eye-stabbing and graphic rape to make the point that the royals treated each other horribly. I miss superlative dialogue and unexpected acting choices.

For everyone celebrating Monday evening, have a lovely Passover!

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