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For Sidney Bechet

 That note you hold, narrowing and rising, shakes
Like New Orleans reflected on the water,
And in all ears appropriate falsehood wakes,

Building for some a legendary Quarter
Of balconies, flower-baskets and quadrilles,
Everyone making love and going shares--

Oh, play that thing! Mute glorious Storyvilles
Others may license, grouping around their chairs
Sporting-house girls like circus tigers (priced

Far above rubies) to pretend their fads,
While scholars manqués nod around unnoticed
Wrapped up in personnels like old plaids.
On me your voice falls as they say love should, Like an enormous yes.
My Crescent City Is where your speech alone is understood, And greeted as the natural noise of good, Scattering long-haired grief and scored pity.

Poem by Philip Larkin
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