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Published: Fri Apr 15 1983
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
Lines for Translation into Any Language
  1. I saw that the shanty town had grown over the graves and
    _   _ that the crowd lived among the memorials.

  2. It was never very cold; a parachute slung between an angel
    _   _ and an urn afforded shelter for newcomers.

  3. Wooden beds were essential.

  4. These people kept their supplies of gasoline in litre bottles,
    _   _ which the children sold at the cemetery gates.

  5. That night the city was attacked with rockets.

  6. The firebrigade bided its time.

  7. The people dug for money beneath their beds, to pay
    _   _ the firemen.

  8. The shanty town was destroyed, the cemetery restored.

  9. Seeing a plane shot down, not far from the airport, many of
    _   _ the foreign community took fright.

  10. The next day, they joined the queues in the gymnasium,
    _      _asking to leave.

  11. When the victorious army arrived, they were welcomed by
    _      _the firebrigade.

  12. This was the only spontaneous demonstration in their favour.

  13. Other spontaneous demonstrations in their favour were
    _      _organised by the victors.

See what's inside AGNI 18

James Fenton was born in Lincoln and educated at Oxford. He has been a political and literary journalist at The New Statesman, a free-lance reporter in Cambodia and Vietnam, and a foreign correspondent in Germany for The Guardian. He now reviews theatre for The Sunday Times; You Were Marvelous, a collection of his theatre criticism, will be published this year by Jonathan Cape. (updated 1983)

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