In the Museum at Teheran

By James Laughlin 1914–1997 James Laughlin
a sentimental curator has placed   
two fragments of bronze Grecian   
    heads together boy

and girl so that the faces black-
ened by the three thousand years of   
    desert sand & sun

seem to be whispering something   
that the Gurgan lion & the wing-
    ed dog of Azerbaijan

must not hear but I have heard   
them as I hear you now half way   
    around the world

so simply & so quietly more like
a child than like a woman making   
    love say to me in

that soft lost near and distant voice   
I’m happy now I’m happy oh don’t   
    move don’t go away.

James Laughlin, “In the Museum at Teheran” from Poems New and Selected. Copyright © 1996 by James Laughlin. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Poems New and Selected (1998)

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Poet James Laughlin 1914–1997

Subjects Men & Women, Relationships

 James  Laughlin


While a sophomore on leave of absence from Harvard University, James Laughlin met Ezra Pound in Rapallo, Italy, and was invited to attend the "Ezuversity"—Pound's term for the private tutoring he gave Laughlin over meals, on hikes, or whenever the master paused in his labors. "I stayed several months in Rapallo at the 'Ezuversity,' learning and reading," recalls Laughlin in an interview with Linda Kuehl for the New York Times . . .

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SUBJECT Men & Women, Relationships

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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