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This poem is taken from PN Review 49, Volume 12 Number 5, May - June 1986.

Two Poems John Ash
LITTLE VARIATIONS FOR NATALIA GINZBURG

Perhaps she had given up hope
of ever seeing the house, the bridge, the moon
even before the thought occurred
that these might be what the distance
sequestered in its silver. There was a mystery
she could solve, a truth whose contours
were both suggested and concealed by the wind
blowing against her face, bearing a vast cool fragrance.

She looked for hours at the moon
but the house did not appear, nor the bridge
and she brushed away her thoughts like moths.
It was her hope to become absolutely clear,
more clear, more distant than the river
at its source. She would not say the light was silver,
although it was - as near as it had ever been.
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