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This poem is taken from PN Review 78, Volume 17 Number 4, March - April 1991.

The Venice Connection Stephen Gray

How can I make notes about your much written-over
   city?
co-opted in my language by Byron through James -

once through the lanes of the old Venetian Republic
you said No one has babies; we're growing old,
   dying -

part of my Grand Tour and late education I have had
   advantage
of your walk-in history, your prosecco, your
   unforgivable colours -

and much of my heart has remained in your
   generous flat
round the clock-tower through stalls off Saint Mark's
   Square, heavens!

hearing your voice on the phone is always a return
yet again, how intimately I know your blunt
   inflections, your tone -
...


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