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This poem is taken from PN Review 5, Volume 5 Number 1, October - December 1978.

Three Poems Dick Davis

REMBRANDT'S 'RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON'*

Age instinct with wisdom, love, bends towards
The sensual man, the penitent, and clasps
Him lightly by the shoulder blades. In rags
The latter kneels and rests his close-cropped head
Against the Father's chest. Some watch, and one,
Whose face is lit, old as the Father, looks
With reticent compassion at the scene.

His comprehension is the artist's own:
His silence and the Father's flood the frame
But cannot quite subdue the young man's sobs,
The fixed, sad past, the waste that love would heal.


METAPHOR

Emotion flares, and is absorbed: almost
At peace you watch the opalescent west.
Light fades: a flock of birds starts up and wheels
...


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