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143 TROY JOLLIMORE Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Ruined by Reading the Cantos of Ezra Pound —Or, Song of My Shelf 1 Under the volcano in the garden of the North American martyrs two serious ladies left out in the rain repair the crooked timber of humanity. 2 God knows love is the crooked thing. God knows the heart never fits its wanting. God knows the information: all things, all at once. God knows the untouchable dreams of distant lives. 144 3 When one has lived a long time alone on the great Atlantic rainway, and the stars were shining, the importance of what we care about lies with ignorance, divine comedies, difficult loves. 4 Why, Brownlee left The Book of Laughter and Forgetting at Swim-two-birds. Ulysses annotated The Annotated Lolita at weddings and wakes. Praise the cunning man, the engineer of human souls. Praise the dispossessed, the man who mistook his wife for a hat. 145 5 While England sleeps, Kant and the platypus kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad. The boy on the step second guesses the fortunate traveller. After Ovid, who will run the frog hospital? 6 The world as I found it— the world at large— points, in time, to the wedding: a vision of love and shadows, first love and other sorrows. 7 What is justice? A guide for the perplexed. A thought in three parts. 146 A dream of mind. The heart is a lonely hunter on a cold road: blizzard of one. Must we mean what we say? The horse’s mouth lies. Consider the oyster. 8 If on a winter’s night a traveler, coming into the country on a pale horse, opening the hand the rest of the way for the union dead, travels with ignorance of love and other demons, love and its place in nature, seeing things— home truths, signals of distress— as if the half-life of happiness is 5, 147 as if the world is the home of love and death— if on a winter’s night a traveler travels, can you stand to be blessed? Can you hear, bird, what we owe to each other? 9 Little friend, little friend, fall on your knees. Let it come down. Call it sleep. ...


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