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This poem is taken from PN Review 3, Volume 4 Number 3, April - June 1978.

Four Poems Grevel Lindop
Sade in Prison

He dreamt about this bottle: if you drew
the cork, or broke its neck,
a flood would gush out big enough to drown
the Bastille, or wreck a city;
yet it lay with the debris under a table.

The dream recurred, and he needed it,
so carefully refrained
from telling anyone. Like a moth
put in a flask and buried,
it fluttered from time to time underground.

And watching at his window-human scum
that swilled about the streets
cursing, unreflective, in love with filth-
why not just let it loose,
once having got your hands on the sluice-gates?
...


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