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This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

(After Dante)
Ned Denny
Now I put that crude and cruel sea behind me,

trimming the sails to steer my ingenuity
towards calmer waters, and presently I’ll sing
of the intermediate realm where the cleansing
without which no one climbs the sky is undergone.
Here poetry’s corpse is going to rise again,
for I am yours, slender Muses, soul and body,
so let Calliope stand and accompany
my verse with something of that more than human tone
that made the raucous magpies despair of pardon.
The entire orient now showed a flawless sapphire –
a self-asserting radiance, sweet blue fire
suffusing the serene countenance of the air

as far as the horizon, unutterably clear –
such that once more the simple fact of sight
was a thing to marvel at and cause of delight,

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