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This poem is taken from PN Review 85, Volume 18 Number 5, May - June 1992.

Three Poems Charles Tomlinson

THE CYPRESSES

The cypresses are hesitating whether to move,
as though they could advance uphill if only they wished.
Then they go completely still; they are shamming dead -
they feel something is about to occur
and they want to be unnoticed by it.
Suddenly, we learn what it is:
the lake below, having lain in a Götterdämmerung light all afternoon,
disappears beneath cloud and rain. Now
the cypresses are losing their composure, but only a little.
They do not toss to the Byronic thunder music -
their foliage to too compact for that;
the brushed-up look of this leafy chevelure
has an electrical restraint about it.
Only a stirring at their very tips gives them away,
though the two just outside the window
...


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