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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 1 Number 1, 1973.

Four Poems George Buchanan
Four Poems


CONDUCTED TOURS OF THE GREAT HOUSES

The tours aren't of saints' houses but houses
inhabited once by the opulent;
to be shown bedrooms, not altar-pieces,
imagining lovers in the pampered beds;
and tables where food and wit were gorged;
gardens having no higher aim than flowers.
Renunciation isn't the subject which
the guides are questioned on, but satisfaction:
how do you live if you have everything?

The rich today are photographed beside
exuberant girls in yachts, and squander on
publicised objects, and yet a few
will have the caution to explore their lucky
foretaste of a cash utopia
...


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