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This poem is taken from PN Review 43, Volume 11 Number 5, May - June 1985.

Poems Charles Tomlinson

THE UNPAINTED MOUNTAIN

There was a storm of wind and light. The rock
Darkened to shadow and then flared to chalk.
All of the mountain seemed disparity
That I could neither think to one, nor see
Save as a tomb of stones, a livid chine
That blocked back distance. The horizon line
Straddled a mass of salt, of quarried snow.
Where were the folds, the facets that we knew -
The confirmation of the view we wanted,
Where was the mountain that the painter painted?
It was the light, you said, had changed it all,
Sapped out the warmth and left this interval
Of limestone where a pulse no longer beat
Between the scintillations of a heat
That wove the slope, the summit and the glance
...


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