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This poem is taken from PN Review 7, Volume 5 Number 3, April - June 1979.

from An Explanation of America Robert Pinsky

To my Daughter


Once, while a famous town lay torn and burning
A woman came to childbed, and lay in labor
While all around her people cursed and screamed
In desperation, and soldiers raged insanely-
So that the child came out, the story says,
In the loud center of every horror of war;
And looking on that scene, just halfway out,
The child retreated backward, to the womb:
And chose to make those quiet walls its urn.

'Brave infant of Saguntum', a poet says-
As though to embrace a limit might show courage.
(Although the word is more like bravo, the glory
Of a great tenor, the swagger of new clothes:
The infant as a brilliant moral performer

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