I started reading Beowulf once again,
And once again I wonder, “What’s it mean?”
It isn’t Beowulf that puzzles me.
It’s “Hwaet!” This copy says, “Hey! Listen up!”
another “Yo!” another “Pay attention!”
My favorite is “Shut your stupid mouths!”
Hear me! about translation’s double bind.
Translation’s double bind is like the joke
About the farmer and the tourist who
Is lost and asking how to get across
The lake. The farmer thinks a bit and then
Announces that there ain’t no way that he
Can get there. Roads are closed. There’s been a slide.
The river’s washed another road away.
Something’s always lost along the way.
The problem is that synonyms do not
Exist. There isn’t any word that means
The same as any other. Teachers lie!
The denotative properties of words
Prevent equivalence, are slippery,
Sleazy weasels. A house is not a home;
Not necessarily. Of course
It could be. Couldn’t it? Or am I wrong?
Where do I go if I go home again?
And is my destination just a house?