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This poem is taken from PN Review 58, Volume 14 Number 2, November - December 1987.

Reworkings of Surrey's Petrarch Dennis Keene

The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings
(Zefiro torna, e 'l bel tempo rima)


The breeze has turned; fair weather in the world,
Green on the hills; the stag has cast aside
His ancient headpiece, like the adder's slough,
Dead feathers of the birds. Summer will come.

How to make sense of this awakening
Is no real task. I do not see how we
Can speak of pleasure in the natural world
Either for them or us. My sorrow springs.

Set me where as the sun doth parch the green
(Pommi ove 'l sole occide i fiori e l'erba)


The sun burns on the grass. I am set here,
And here is where the ice never dissolves
Beneath his rays. I feel them on my face,
A face grown old. Lost youth, my hairs are grey;

Thick mists cover clear weather, as in hell
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