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Whithorn Manse

I knew it as Eden,
that lost walled garden,
past the green edge
of priory and village;
and, beyond it, the house,
withdrawn, white,
one window alight.

Returning, I wonder,
idly, uneasily,
what eyes from inside
look out now, not in,
as once mine did,
and what might grant me,
a right of entry?

Is it never dead, then,
that need of an Eden?

Even this evening,
estranged by age,
I ogle that light
with a child’s greed,
wistfully claiming
lost prerogatives
of homecoming.


Alastair Reed

Alastair Reed has translated several volumes of Neruda's poetry. He is the author of "Weathering: Poems & Translations" and "Whereabouts: Notes on Being a Foreigner"


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 00-JAN 01

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