The Imperative Mood

Марко Ганчев


If you should ask me, the philologist,
What reason there is
That caused all emperors to fall,
That I can tell, I can.
The reason is,
Without a doubt,
That this verb "can",
It lacks the mood imperative.
Just try, and say
To someone: "Can!"
Just try, and say
To people: "Can!"
And you shall know
The ruin of all emperors.
For they could say:
"Sow seeds!"
For they could say:
"Sing songs!"
And people sowed obediently,
And people sang obediently,
And even perseveringly.
But neither bread
Made art,
Nor art was made from bread.
And the impassive monarch
Had this feeling,
Though a vague one, of being weak.
He knew how far his power reached –
He could indeed, a self-appointed father,
Order that the man of God
Do things of all varieties,
But couldn’t order him to "can".

And I myself,
I can do things and know,
That he who can, gives orders to himself.
By himself.

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