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This poem is taken from PN Review 45, Volume 12 Number 1, September - October 1985.

Poems Roger Clarke

TUTANKHAMUN AND CORN

My grandfather, an arable man,
Was kin to the soil's fierce practicality:
Smoking his own foul tobacco plant,
Eating his own hothouse nectarines.
One day, from an old school friend Caernarvon
He received an unexpected gift -
Some grains of dessicated, ancient corn
From the newfound tomb of Tutankhamun.
What should he do with such a curiosity,
Little parts of mummy, let them moulder
In some old cabinet, viewed with idle interest?
He did the only honest thing:
He planted them.

Drawn by their own surprise
The lessened flakes began to germinate;
...


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