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Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act. -- A. E. Housman,``The Name and Nature of Poetry'' I, too, of morning habit, slip, betimes, to keep the watch. My basin mirror twins the window on my right, and as I shave, I keep a cautious eye on both: the weather of the soul and of the sky. The razor burrs a tonic song of such mechanic art -- it never ceases to act. Only the blue-speckled morning sings such lines to the gaunt-cheeked elm outside that the wind loses its cutting edge. Spring-rapt, I see green bristles -- sudden warning -- of the poem inside the tree.

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