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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 4 Number 4, 1975.

Two Poems Peter Porter


THE SNAILS OF TURIN

Sifting in a tall house fearing
The Ice Kings and the Major Generals,
I think of the Shakespearean code:
Terror happens in the mind.

A Marxist in a blue suit, looking
Like someone going for an interview,
Tells me his Jewish father was beaten
To death by his mother's peasant family.

Disaster assembles at the Iron Gate,
Railway trucks are rolling
Over the fanged land - we get our weather
From the outward-looking West.

Yet Spain too fronts the howling ocean:
To be born in the picture of hope
Sends us back to ossuaries,
...


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