Author's note: This poem refers to an exhibition of paintings by Xu Bing in the Ashmolean Museum. Many of Xu Bing's canvases were black and white landscapes in which, for instance, rivers were drawn using clustered repetitions of the character 'river', mountains were made of the character 'mountain', sky of 'sky', villages of 'village'.
In drifts of sleep I came upon you
Buried to your waist in snow.
You reached your arms out: I came to
Like water in a dream of thaw.
–Seamus Heaney, 'Rescue'
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