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This poem is taken from PN Review 45, Volume 12 Number 1, September - October 1985.

Poems Michael Vince

A LETTER FROM THE LEVANT C. 1870

As you last hoped I have not 'brooded
On poetry in my room'. My Tennyson
Lies in the arms of the cold Aegean
With all the warm clothing I had
After a clumsy landing. Last night
I sang hymns along the sand
Shouldering my way through the wind
Swathed in a goats-hair blanket
Presented to me by a low Greek.
Passing later, I dined at his hovel
On fish cooked tolerably well
And when we touched glasses he spoke
Darkly of 'the Pasha our master'.
I was obliged to mention Lord Byron
And my position as a free Englishman,
...


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