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This poem is taken from PN Review 70, Volume 16 Number 2, November - December 1989.

Lines about Elias Ted Hughes

Lines about Elias for Thom Gunn

Did music help him? Indeed it helped him.
His crude music, instruments
Imitated uncannily but weirdly
Restored the order of music
Within the terror of the Camp.
They could have been baboons
In some demented phase of tribal breakdown
During a famine, or under the effects
Of a poisonous dust from space.
Yet his music, for its few moments
Ushered them into a formation
Where the Camp did not exist
Where their sorrowful bodies did not exist.

So the scabies on his belly the sores and
Inflammations which made Elias
...


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