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Lines
Written a long way from Tinturn Abbey, on rereading college notes written in 1977.
from the fountain pen of Treb
Five pens I have, five pens, but where on earth
Did the others go?
and again I eye
These inks, beckoning from their crystal homes
With a sweet liquid murmur, -- once again
Do I behold these golden engraved nibs
Which patterns do impress
Thoughts of unwritten prose; and connect
The mind unbidden with the quiet of the sky.
Here, with this jade gazelle, and view this brass gorilla,
This mystery pen, this vanished pen,
This discontinued Sheaffer
Which, at this time, no longer writes
Nor with repeated cleanings will disturb new paper again.
Once again I see
Its noble past, proud history, little lines
Of sportive signatures run wild, these ancient notes
In brown ink still resplendent; and marginal annotations
Written in silence as Claudette lectures
With some uncertain script as might seem,
Of a student writing for the first time in a holy book
By Thomas Mann, where thoughts great and ink do flow together.
Though silent long,
This broken pen was good to me.

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