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Lev Loseff, from As I Said

Joseph in 1965

Those Party activists were bloody-minded
enough to hound a flower for its fragrance
or a star for its twinkle.

From the poet they demanded
poems 'with civic resonance'.

But in that ultimate inkwell
it made the fluid freeze into black ice;
for them this poet refused to make
poems with civic resonance.

He listened to his heart's fading quake,
to the clamorous squawk of rooks,
and mended those tatty roofs.

The river wound its sinuous course.
Snow fell. Cold weather lasted long.
And, acting out that civic resonance,
telephone wires moaned a song.