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This poem is taken from PN Review 14, Volume 6 Number 6, July - August 1980.

'Letter to David Wright' John Heath-Stubbs

Last year I crossed the meridian of sixty.
Now, David, it's your turn. Old friend, we first met
In your Oxford lodgings, those in the High
With the Churchillian landlady, which afterwards became
A kind of traditional caravanserai
For poets-most of them doomed, of course.
Sidney Keyes' officer's cane
Remained in the hall umbrella-stand
Long after his mouth was stopped with Numidian dust.
Allison stayed there on leave, a bird of passage
Migrating towards his Italian death.
And there was William Bell-
Not war, but a mountain had earmarked him.

But our friendship really began in Soho,
Our second university-so many lessons
To learn and to unlearn-days of the flying bomb,
...


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