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This poem is taken from PN Review 53, Volume 13 Number 3, January - February 1987.

Two Poems Sujata Bhatt

A Different History

Great Pan is not dead;
he simply emigrated
          to India.
Here, the gods roam freely,
disguised as snakes or monkeys;
every tree is sacred
and it is a sin
to be rude to a book.
It is a sin to shove a book aside
               with your foot,
a sin to slam books down
         hard on a table,
a sin to toss one carelessly
          across a room.
You must learn how to turn the pages gently
without disturbing Sarasvati,
without offending the tree
from whose wood the paper was made.
...


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