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1 A LIGHTHOUSE IN MAINE

- Edward Hopper

It might be anywhere, that ivory tower

reached by a country road. Granite and sky,

it faces every which way with an air

of squat omniscience, intensely mild,

a polished Buddha figure warm and dry

beyond vegetation; and the sunny glare

striking its shingled houses is no more

celestial than the hot haze of the world.

Built to shed light but also hoarding light,

it sits there dozing in the afternoon

above the ocean like a ghostly moon

patiently waiting to illuminate.

You make a left beyond the town, a right,

you turn a corner and there, ivory-white,

it shines in modest glory above a bay.

Out you get and walk the rest of the way.

from Art Notes

Derek Mahon

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