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This poem is taken from PN Review 30, Volume 9 Number 4, March - April 1983.

Three Poems Jon Glover

[These poems are from a sequence concerning a man who leaves a Scottish island in the nineteenth century for the United States. The poems approach the voices of various people whom he meets on his journey, some of whom are left behind, as well as saying something of his own changed perception of things.]


'If cows clatter to the iron-stained stream.
If the weight of a stone displays man's work.
If the summer's hot mud puffs up into a mist of flies.'

Remember our qualities recorded
in proper fabrics that weave
through the photographic paper.
We were still, attentive,
and watched the eyes, fears,
the other people's looks of how it was
that light out here in salt and silver.
Portraits: a thorough chemical process,
like visiting the lawyer for a deed,

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