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This poem is taken from PN Review 161, Volume 31 Number 3, January - February 2005.

Two Poems (translated by Bill Coyle) Håkan Sandell

Requiem for a Returnee

Czeslaw Milosz has moved to Krakow,
I heard from his Swedish translator yesterday,
to draw in with a deep rattling breath
the concrete dust by the building scaffolds,
breathed out again as the muse speaks her last.
And yet it seems like the scene of his death
should have remained a California
of perfected loss, peeled, wide open,
trembling with desert heat and alienation,
a well-aged alienation, where not the Beach Boys
but Chopin, Brahms and Shostakovich
are played at the cultivated funeral.
Nicely-built young American female
poets would have sparkled in the backmost benches
hour-glass shaped after a lifetime of salads

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