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This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

from The Rain John Ash
We have to love the past
it is our invention. Perhaps, after all
forgiveness is the proper attitude
and we should not abolish history but make a space in it
that will contain both the philosophies
of eighteenth-century boudoirs and the Kingdom of Meroe,
the Empire of Songhoi . . . and the place
where the last Carib leapt to his death
and the place where the last prince of the Palaeologi

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