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On Tour

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From the Archive

Edward Lear, Untitled, 1857, graphite, pen, brown ink, and watercolor, 12 15/16″ x 20 1/8″.

Earlier today, we announced that Richard Howard will receive The Paris Review’s 2017 Hadada Award. To celebrate, we’re sharing “On Tour,” a poem by Howard from our Summer 1956 issue.

It is the movement that disturbs the line.
    Thickening the form.
    Turning into warm
Compression what had once been cold and fine.

Seen from down here, if only we remained.
    These hills are high:
    Driving on, the sky
Imposes, and no longer can be trained

By any structure of the seeming ground.
    Landscape, I discover,
    As the car gains over
Something that changes from a little mound

To monstrous eminence before your eyes.
    Landscape can flaunt, can
    Fail like the heart of man:
And when you see the difference in size

Of cliffs we once considered at the bright
    Grass along their peak
    And then saw from the bleak
Extremity of sand below, the sight

Gives more than pause—alas, it gives the slow
    Ruin of our hopes
    Fed upon the slopes
From where we’ve been to where we want to go.