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This poem is taken from PN Review 136, Volume 27 Number 2, November - December 2000.

Four Poems Kathleen Raine

On a Shell-Strewn Beach

What are you looking for,
Hoping to find there
On the sea shore?
    A marvellous shell
    More bright than rainbow
    Small as a pearl
    And carved like the tower
    Of a white cathedral.

What are you waiting for,
Tide after tide
On the shore of the ocean?
    I have come seeking
    The infinite cipher
    And sum of all wisdom
    Inscribed on a grain

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