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  4. fromPunchinello in Chains: VI. Punchinello Dreams of Escape
fromPunchinello in Chains: VI. Punchinello Dreams of Escape

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The ship at anchor wasn’t what it seemed—
yet Punchinello gripped the eagle’s neck.
(The dream of life is just another dream.)

It soared above the masts, canals, the steam
of chimneys, till our Punch was just a speck.
The ship at anchor wasn’t what it seemed,

the harbor, Venice, Europe—even the gleam
blazing San Marco’s horses shrank. A fleck!
The dream of life is just another dream

that really wants a king, a god’s regime,
or some poor hurricane to wreck
the ship at anchor. Wasn’t what it seemed,

Punch’s old life, another Ponzi scheme?
Weren’t sailors waving from the quarter-deck?
The dream of life is just another dream

that none of us will live to see redeemed.
Death scrawls his bold John Hancock on your check.
The ship at anchor wasn’t what it seemed.
The dream of life is just another dream.

William Logan, “Punchinello Dreams of Escape” from Macbeth in Venice. Copyright © 2003 by Wiliam Logan. Reprinted with the permission of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. For online information about other Penguin Group (USA) books and authors, see www.penguin.com.
Source: Macbeth in Venice (Penguin Books, 2003)
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