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This poem is taken from PN Review 19, Volume 7 Number 5, May - June 1981.

Two Capitals C.H. Sisson

'Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!' It came then like a roar
Across Berlin in nineteen thirty-four.
Herr Bargel, Dr Mohrhoff and young Schmid
Answered its echo like a natural need.
By the old Reichstag torches lit the sky
As the brown-shirted Fackelzug went by.
The heart of Germany! But not my heart;
I stood with thousands but I stood apart.
What peace for England? That is all I knew,
The awful menace of a dream come true.
And France? Months later, there was I, as one
At table, rue du cardinal Lemoine,
At breakfast, lunch and dinner: René Chave,
Febrile as autumn, nineteen and a half;
Old Monsieur Duchemin, discoursing reason;
Madame, who bought the vegetables in season
And clacked over the price of artichokes;
...


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