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This poem is taken from PN Review 32, Volume 9 Number 6, July - August 1983.

Mute Miltons Anna Adams

Mute Miltons have their moments. 'Buttercup',
said one. 'Day's Eye', 'Earth Smoke', (the Fumitory):
they broadcast poetry-seeds like 'Morning Glory'.
One said 'Forget-me-not' and then shut up
his shop that coined small trademarks for wild goods
and lay down in a grave unmarked 'Anon'.
One first said 'Snowdrop', now like snow he's gone.
Another found a lily in the woods
and watched bees baffled by its waxen beads
of sweetness, hung beneath a green-leaf shield-
one of a curving stepladder that leant
on nothing-and these virgins-in-a-tent
were wives for Solomon whose rod unsealed
the maidenheads of twice-ten-thousand brides.

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