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March 24, 1995|By Rosemary Klein

The poet is a small operation.

He has nothing to arm himself

with against the confusion

that persists in our language,

in our ideas, but protest.

Protest is little use against

the inevitable. Things fall

apart. Disarray consumes.

The world falls beneath

the monsters of aristocracy,

theology, capitalism,

science. Each century

or so fashion exhumes

the artist buried beneath

another makeshift world,

dusts off his words, props

up his poems as artifacts

of legitimate but useless rage

and says of him, not

unkindly Well, at least

he spoke.

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