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This poem is taken from PN Review 27, Volume 9 Number 1, September - October 1982.

'Pastor Errante' Donald Davie

for Robert Pinsky

'And you, Enscaldunac?'
(Mary Austin, The Flock)


When you were explaining America, Robert, you did not
    -Why should you?-explain
To your small daughter there had been a time when the pastor,
    Meaning the shepherd in
Many tongues though not as it happens in Basque,
    Roamed the Sierra Nevada.

It would, you must see, have made a difference: not
    To have those alarmingly non-
Communicating Swedes or German-speaking
    Bohemians on
The Willa Cather prairies for your girl
    To grow wide-eyed at;

But instead in Inyo County Mary Austin's
    Long-gone shepherds who might
...


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