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

On Caravaggio's 'Conversion of St Paul' Helen Pinkerton

Rome, Primo Maggio, 1989 for Thom Gunn

nec spe, nec metu


Darkness and light define here one another.
Not Saul, nor yet St Paul, he sprawls between -
Eyes shut, arms open, feeling but not yet seeing,
Wanting but not yet having what may follow.
Ambiguous interval. Here one might linger,
Not fearing and not hoping - would it stay!
But time and death are real. Light wanes or grows
...


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