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This poem is taken from PN Review 24, Volume 8 Number 4, March - April 1982.

Two Poems John Ash


'Und wir hörten sie noch von ferne
Trotzig singen im Wald.'

This is the sort of place you might arrive at after a long journey
involving the deaths of several famous monsters,
only to be disappointed almost to the point of grief

Heavy clouds hang in a clump above a wide, perfectly level plain
which is the image of a blank mind. Night is falling.
There is a wooden house, a lighted porch: it is a scene of
      'marvellous simplicity'.-
too marvellous perhaps: the very grain of the wood offers itself
for our admiration, and the light has such 'warmth'
it is hard to restrain tears. The clouds are now distinctly purple,
agitated,-a kind of frantically stirred borsch, suitable backdrop
for some new opera's Prelude of Foreboding, but not for this
      ambiguous scene

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