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This poem is taken from PN Review 90, Volume 19 Number 4, March - April 1993.

Five Poems C.H. Sisson


Toi à qui … You had never speech;
Only the lines on paper spoke.
No words of mine could ever reach
The silence that you never broke.

Beauty is poised in clear mid-air
And there you are, and there you stay:
For my cold words to find you there,
What silence must they not convey?

The poet and the work of art
Meet where the silence of the word
Encounters lines which have a part
In every echo that is heard.

And you who wore, and were, the flesh
These lines endeavour to translate,
Cannot yourself keep memory fresh
Of what was at that distant date.

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