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WILFRED NOYCE (1917-1962)
A 3pp. airmail letter in pencil, dated "Camp 4, Everest, 31st May 1953", to Joyce King, discussing the Coronation, various aspects of his journey and "a short verse 'from Everest ...' reminding you however, that as one is 50 less efficient at 18,000ft. than at sea level and as this was written at about 22,000ft. I have no need to apologise for its defects ... A Snow Slope on Mount Everest. Heart aches To mouth's part; The dry air Sorry, scent. Legs lift And why at all? Loose lift, leaden fall. Prod the snow It's easiest way, A flat step Is holiday. Look up, the far stone is many miles far and alone. Grind the breath once more and on; Don't look up till journey's done. Must look up, glasses are dim, wrench of land Is breathless limb. Pause one step, Breath is back; Swallow once, Dry throat is slack Then on To the far stone; Don't look up, Count the steps done. One step, Jingle beat, STone no nearer Down - drawn fat. Heartaches, To mouth's part ...'"
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