Slavitt_10-1992
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Gift: The Life of Lorenzo Da Ponte

Not merely a strange place, but the home of strangeness,

the land stretching away west to vertiginous

spaces beyond the imagination.

Philadelphia first,

then New York, where Nancy is living.


The Grahls have done well, chemists, merchants, physicians.

Lorenzo and Nancy cross the river, settle

in Jersey, open a grocery store

                                                           in Elizabeth.


He writes how he laughed,

"every time my poetical hand weighed out

two ounces of tea, or cut a plug of tobacco

for some cobbler or carter."

Thus amused, he never notices how

people cheat him, take his kindness as weakness

and him for all he is worth—

                                                           seven...

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