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This poem is taken from PN Review 135, Volume 27 Number 1, September - October 2000.

Five Poems Tom Payne


Ktiseis

Like Rome, we two have our foundation myth
taking in portents, looks, dates and the weather
to tell how our initial being with
each other in strange times kept us together.
Like Rome, we are not what we were before.
We had our golden age, our times of trouble
such that we could forget what to restore
and what to leave about us fine as rubble.
But Rome's not over yet. Rather it picks
whichever story suits; once martial state,
now seat of opera, popes and politics,
it fights the feeling that it's getting late,
so as in Horace's time, so in ours,
lovers waste evenings on the Field of Mars.


Wo sind die tränen

Where are the tear-drops
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