gershon hepner

(5 3 38 / leipzig)

peter


The mistress loves to read the words the lover writes
and, as a poet, mumbles;
he says he wishes he could transport her to heights
of passion, but he fumbles
and cannot reach her, too preoccupied with rhyme
and complicated meters.
Comparing breasts to banks whereon there grows wild thyme
he physically peters.

Inspired by a letter by Susan Howe, Professor English at the State University of New York at Buffalo (The New York Review, October 21,1999) . Professor Howe discusses the relationship between the imagination and reality, commenting on what she calls a reductive review by Christopher Benfey of 'The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, ' edited by Ralph Franklin. She quotes lines from Wallace Stevens' 'A Primitive Like an Orb':


That's it. The lover writes, the believer hears,
The Poet mumbles and the painter sees,
Each one, his fated eccentricity,
As a part, but part, but tenacious particle, Of the skeleton of the ether, the total
Of letters, prophesies, perceptions, clods
Of color, the giant of nothingness, each one
And the giant ever changing, living in change.


10/20/99

Submitted: Friday, June 27, 2008
Edited: Thursday, June 04, 2009
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