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Poems

April 1997

A visit to Manafon

by William Virgil Davis

for R. S. Thomas

 

Still patches of snow on the high hills
above this frost valley where new lambs
run from watching ewes in air so cold
with chill your breath like glassy mirrors
breaks off in front of you and you walk
through your own reflection—think back
through time to more than forty years ago.

                               *

 The small chapel, built from stone quarried
from the nearby river, has stood for centuries.
The western wall, thick with vine-veined
stone, is a map of the rooted land itself.
In the tiny room at the back of the nave
two small windows—barred since recent
break-ins—hold fifteenth century angels

 

in pale green and yellow gla ...

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William Virgil Davis's book Landscape and Journey, winner of the 2009 New Criterion Poetry Prize, was published in the fall by Ivan R. Dee.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 April 1997, on page 34

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