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This poem is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

The Living Robert Pinsky

The living, the unfallen lords of life,
Move heavily through the dazzle
Where all things shift, glitter or swim-

As on a day at the beach, or under
The stark, absolute blue of a snow morning,
With concentric peals of brightness

Ringing in the cold air. They seem drugged.
Their abrupt good fortune clings heavily
With the slow sway and pomp of dirty velvet,

Their purple, the unaccustomed garb-
Worn slipshod-of the Court
Of Misrule: animal-headed, staring

As if sleepy or drunk, riding a goat
Or perched backwards on a donkey,
Widdershins, hectic. Beggars, bad governors,

We thrive awkwardly-some maimed slightly
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