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This poem is taken from PN Review 115, Volume 23 Number 5, May - June 1997.

Two Poems Charles Tomlinson

Trebiano


       'I live in a small city, and I prefer
to dwell there that it may not become smaller still.' (Plutarch)



I
These outposts were the centres once.
  The bulwarks of the ruined fort contain
The village cistern. What you find
  Are veering streets stacked above a plain
So wide that you scan its flat immensity
  For sails. You can hear more than you see
Down there, the clang and ricochet
  Of the place to which activity has fled
Flung up at you , and to be heard
  Even in the gullies between the dwellings
...


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