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This poem is taken from PN Review 84, Volume 18 Number 4, March - April 1992.

Four Poems Edgar Bowers


The rhetorician classifies my pain
By topics of persuasion or of praise
And schemes of sound like mirrors to the ear,
As mania and depression spell your name
Over and over, till it becomes a trope
Ironic. And he tells that irony
In such confusion of its characters
That each must seem the other - the sceptical
Aristocrat of masks, the stage-struck fool
Happy in his hypocrises, and both
The lover, with his dialectic hope.
So let me, in my turn, be of each school
Advisory to love: the nice, reluctant
Stoic whom his noblesse oblige subdues,
The epicurean, studious under his tree,

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