Parmenides of Elea to Doris Day
What? ‘What will be will be?’ But what will be
But what will be? What won’t be? No siree,
For what will not be will not be, you see,
And what will what will be do if not be?
See, what is not is not what is and nor
Is what is what is not. Or is it? For
What is not seems, and what seems is not, or
at least, seems not to be. What seems not, nor
is either, isn’t. Although, not all that seems
not is not, nor all that which doesn’t. Dreams
are and are not, like shades, or fleeting gleams,
which aren’t and are. A paradox—it seems.
And, paradoxically, quite clear, I think.
Or think I do. Zeno, pour me half a drink.
This poem is expanded from an epigram first published
in the Asses of Parnassus.
If you have any thoughts about it, Daniel Galef would be
pleased to hear them.