THE Parable of Critics

‘To be or not to be’, the book reads.
               The critic frowns, & picks up his pen.
               He writes: ‘Hamlet questions the value of being.’
               He crosses it out, unsatisfied, & stares at the words.
               After a think, he tries: ‘Hamlet exposes the founding human choice as starkest antithesis. To take unbeing, he asks, or being – this is our quandary.’
               He gets up, paces about, rereads it.
               ‘Christ!’ he shouts, frustrated he can’t get this right.
               Then his features relax. ‘Yes,’ he whispers, ‘finally!’
               He writes: ‘To be or not to be’.

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