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From The London Zoo (1961)

and other early poems

On a Troopship They are already made Why should they go Into boring society Among the soldiery? But I, whose imperfection Is evident and admitted Needing further assurance Must year-long be pitted Against fool and trooper Practising my integrity In awkward places, Walking till I walk easily Among uncomprehended faces Extracting the root Of the matter from the diverse engines That in an oath, a gesture or a song Inadequately approximate to the human norm.

In Time of Famine: Bengal I do not say this child This child with grey mud Plastering her rounded body I do not say this child For she walks poised and happy But I say this Who looks in at the carriage window Her eyes are big Too big Her hair is touzled and her mouth is doubtful

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