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This poem is taken from PN Review 159, Volume 31 Number 1, September - October 2004.

Large Calm Sunrise John Peck

Through understatement, sliding advent, liquid
surface alike in sea and cloud, it comes.

Morning knowledge wedges itself from darkness
and from that power above all gathers to power.

Out of awareness for every mood, an ivory
moodlessness. Cattle wake in it, schoolchildren plod.

Sumerians thought they existed simply
to serve the cruder needs of their gods, my acquaintances

believe that they exist inexplicably:
imperium through time may trail to darkness,

into aroused but thickened similitudes
of meat, Dutch nudities under evening skies,

a continent of nudes beneath those skies,
and on the facades karyatids and Atlas

and Herakles propping up cornices
shadowed by evening, knowledge in lengthening shades.
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