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This poem is taken from PN Review 102, Volume 21 Number 4, March - April 1995.

The Translations of St Columba's Sea-Watch Peter Riley

1
To be enfolded bodily in a summit
Like the ink in a letter
And witness the sea's entire calm.

2
The heaving waves riding the glitter
A continual singing
Addressed to a cause.

3
The clear headland with its smooth strand
We are established at such an edge
Cloaked in brightness, smeared in birdsong.

4
The lesser waves beating on the rocks
The shout from the graveyard.

5
Great flocks of birds hanging over the sea
Rare mammals passing down the coast
Gods of food, gods of want, human centres.

6
Watching the tide rising and falling, my
...


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