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Among the Unawake poems from the Great Plains by Rodney Nelson

T o   M a d r i g a l

Sunlight too rare to think much of
hid in the issue of a chimney
did not have much to do with a
midwinter cerecloth white enough
to let me see the avenue
it held and on it a young city
tree they had forgotten to make
the early modulation
to evening showed not a spark
of ornament among the naked
puny limbs even though I could
hear some Handel that was meant to match
Sankt Nikolaus
would come too
Germanovictorian Yankee
in the Enlightenment tableau
they were making
a cry of mummied emotion
to them
a monition to me who
wanted to get such curlicue
out of my words and have them simple
if I had meant to retrospect
on a right winter night like that I
would have gone back to madrigal


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