Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ENGLISH GRAVEYARD IN MALACCA, by KAREN SWENSON



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THE ENGLISH GRAVEYARD IN MALACCA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Downhill from the roofless portuguese cathedral
Last Line: Of the tree that spreads its shade across their clay.
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Malaysia; Missions & Missionaries; Graveyards


Downhill from the roofless Portuguese cathedral
these aliens, from the opposite point of the compass,
lie, a community in the grass, insular
under a great tree's shade by the sea.

Nancy Henry, David Kidd, Lieutenants White and
Harding, Rachel Milne, whose husband translated
the Bible into Chinese - confusing local certitudes -
abandoned by both God and Empire, please

only the wanton grass. A Nissan paintcan is
today's descendant of the vases which have held
a century of flowers for the spirit
of the tree that spreads its shade across their clay.





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