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This poem is taken from PN Review 120, Volume 24 Number 4, March - April 1998.

Five Poems Charles Tomlinson

Roma

I Monte del Gallo

The faintest breeze is stirring finger-fronds
Of the many fingered hands that seem to stroke
The inaudible keyboard that is air:
The raised draped pine-boughs float on tides unseen
That lift then let them go, submerged
In the impersonality of trunks. Two cypresses
Grown close together, leaned on by the wind,
Seem to acknowledge one another's presence -
Human, would be moving to an embrace -
But they, too, like the sea-beast pines, submit
To the oceanic motion parting them,
Provoking us with their silences, their deep
Arboreal indifference to unsleeping Rome.


II At Tivoli

Did Hadrian bring Antinous his friend
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