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This poem is taken from PN Review 102, Volume 21 Number 4, March - April 1995.

Three Poems Iain Crichton Smith

William Cowper
It was your work that I picked
for some odd reason
when I was in university.

Madness, sofas, tea,
and the quietness of Olney.

and the serene carpentry
and the flat wet landscape.

To live slowly in a quiet routine
to be saved by nature,
your reflection in the Ouse.

To translate Homer
as if his gigantic heroes were a therapy
for your meek existence.

To hang on by your fingernails
against the dissolution of madness
...


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