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This report is taken from PN Review 210, Volume 39 Number 4, March - April 2013.

For Ed Dorn Tom Raworth

Vaquero

The cowboy stands beneath
a brick-orange moon. The top
of his oblong head is blue, the sheath
of his hips
is too.

In the dark brown night
your delicate cowboy stands quite still.
His plain hands are crossed.
His wrists are embossed white.

In the background night is a house,
has a blue chimney top,
Yi yi, the cowboy's eyes
are blue. The top of the sky
is too.

I read that poem in the autumn of 1960 in a magazine called Between Worlds, edited by a Gilbert Neiman and published in Puerto Rico and appropriately Denver. A magazine possibly unique in having the postal addresses of contributors instead of tedious biographical notes. I wrote my appreciation to its author, an Edward Dorn in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we corres­ponded for four years before we met in person the day he arrived in England. Jeremy Prynne, whose name should certainly sound in this context, was there too. That Carcanet should publish the Collected Poems is to their credit: but it shows the sad state of literary publishing in the United States that one of its major modern poets and satirists should be collected outside its borders - though Dorn has his history here too, with the early Fulcrum editions of his work. Leafing through the book I was struck by how many lines and phrases were familiar; ...


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