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From 'Two Venetian sequences.' (poem)

II

Farfarella, the gabby doorman, obeying orders, said he wasn't allowed to disturb the man who wrote about bullfights and safaris. I implore him to try, I'm a friend of Pound (a slight exaggeration) and deserve special treatment. Maybe . . . He picks up the phone, talks listens pleads and, lo, the great bear Hemingway takes the hook. He's still in bed, all that emerges from his hairy face are eyes and eczema. Two or three empty bottles of Merlot, forerunners of the gallon to come. Down in the restaurant we're all at table. We don't talk about him but about our dear friend dear Adrienne Monnier, the Rue de L'Odeon, about Sylvia Beach, Larbaud, the roaring thirties and the braying fifties. Paris, pigsty London, New York, nauseating, deadly. No hunting in the marshes, no wild ducks, no girls, and not the faintest thought of a book on such topics. We compile a list of mutual friends whose names I don't know. The world's gone to rot, decaying. Almost in tears, he asks me not to send him people of my sort, especially if they're intelligent. Then he gets up, wraps himself in a bathrobe, hugs me, and shows me to the door. He lived on a few more years, and, dying twice, had the time to read his own obituaries.

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Author:Montale, Eugenio
Publication:The Wilson Quarterly
Date:Jun 22, 1998
Words:219
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