This poem is taken from PN Review 38, Volume 10 Number 6, May - June 1984.Poems
AFTER THE EXPLOSION, 1654
Broodily still, the seller of musical
instruments thumbs a trim beard;
under the awning of his stall
a signature vivifies encrusted wood.
C. FABRITIVS, like the lute's bowl
your canal turn swelled, the ground tone
bringing touches of Autumn to trees round
the new church; a viol-da-gamba's f-hole
curving counter to the cobbled street,
taut strings above a sounding board
pitched to the bridge, and these few words
held off from the near unearthly quiet.
In the painted ears, inaudible cries
and appalled, fellow townspeople
carry makeshift stretchers: a pupil,
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