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This poem is taken from PN Review 159, Volume 31 Number 1, September - October 2004.

A Capella Gabriel Levin

He was no more than knee high
when his father jiggled the door off its hinges
and laid it flat between two chairs
as a makeshift table for the unbidden
guests that night, who clapped with joy before digging in,
- but he swore all changed in the mind
of the child he barely outgrew: here was the given
he would seek for how many years
and score in the bark of poetry.

The city in a festive mood greets
the rhapsode whose words plumb the length
of his body and stamp the soil
of Sion, a crusty hill that bellows like a lion smelted
in Solomon's mines,
                                              its name pointing
to itself, bookish index finger or signpost
for the strangers we conjure up
...


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