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This poem is taken from PN Review 4, Volume 4 Number 4, July - September 1978.

Three Poems Robert B. Shaw

ART AND LIFE
Sitting on the terrace,
I squint through sunglasses
finally at the final page
of a novel two weeks long.
A breeze hovers expectantly
as things draw to a close:

'. . . He turned so as not to see her retreating form. He heard the door close softly. Standing on the darkening terrace he thought, almost said, I can't stand this. I can't take it any more. But the placid continuance of his surroundings-nodding flowers beside him, mossy bricks underfoot, the ancient house bulking up behind-seemed somehow to discount the force of his assertion. Distance might provide the perspective on things which he badly needed. He went out past the gate-flanking laburnums, walking very fast.'

Only a momentary breeze: it died.
The sun pours down too hotly
here on actions nowhere near
as sinister or completed.
Take your own forever
retreating form: it never
definitively withdraws, the door
never quite shuts (unless
it's fallen to so quietly
...


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