The poems gathered here under the title “Dreaming in Shimla : Letters to My Mother “ were made in the months I spent at the Institute. I had a study, Public Entry Room #11 with windows that looked out onto the evergreen trees, deodar and chir pine. When the weather was fine, one could see the mountains beyond. I grew to love the changing face of the mountain slopes, in mist, rain and bursts of sunlight when the great blue sky opened up. Landscape permits the present to irradiate what we feel of the past, so that elements of our lives start to clarify and take shape within the symbolic space of the poem. Making a poem in this way has to do with allowing one to exist in the present, freed but not shorn of the burden of a past ó lacking which the self could not in fact exist. And perhaps this is the paradox on which the poem turns, acts of attention, acts of love creating a counter-world, momentarily freed of time. But what of our shared life? The Italian poet Eugenio Montale speaks of the second life of art a life that goes beyond form into shared memory, even if what is shared is just with one other person. He speaks of this as the poem ís obscure pilgrimage through the conscience and memory of man.