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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 2 Number 2, 1974.

Two Poems Jonathan Galassi


CONSCIENCE

after Natalia Ginzburg's 'I Rapporti Umani'

Then we start to grow away from our old friends,
Their pretensions and refinements have become annoying.
Their mania for distinction is bourgeois.
Now we want to be poor. We make poor friends,
visit them with pride in their unheated houses.
We take pride in our beat-up raincoat.
We're still waiting for the right person
but she will have to love our old raincoat,
our beat-up shoes and cheap cigarettes and bare red hands,
Evenings we walk alone in our raincoat
past the houses at the edge of town.
We have discovered the periphery,
the signs of snack bars along the river,
we stand entranced in front of store-windows
...


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