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This poem is taken from PN Review 127, Volume 25 Number 5, May - June 1999.

Five Poems Thom Gunn

Save the Word

Save the word
empathy, sweetheart,
for your freshmen essays.
Doesn't it make
a rather large
claim? Think you can
syphon yourself
into another human
as, in the movie,
the lively boy-ghosts
pour themselves
down the ear-holes
of pompous older men?
Don't try it. Only
Jesus could do it and he
probably didn't exist.
Try 'sympathy'. With that
your isolated self may
...


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