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This poem is taken from PN Review 191, Volume 36 Number 3, January - February 2010.

Five Poems Jeffrey Wainwright

Starting Early

Starting early with my dog, boundlessly,

or on a solitary walk by a riverside,

or in a stew or a studio, or in a stew in a studio
a proper brown one,

you will find me.

But am I the same in your eyes as in mine,
or in that third eye, the barber’s captious glass?

My dome is as innocent, as artless, as a wig-stand;
the elastic that fastens my spectacles has crimped one ear;
I am spry still but stooped from the books I bear,
a few good bindings but glue-split paperbacks mostly,
bundled, strapped and wedged into packs, fardels,
so that philosophers laugh as I waddle by.
Also about me, pyramids, cubes and squares,
a wood-gauge and a rule, all these going towards
the makings of most knowledge,
perhaps, one day, even the evolutions
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