Having read the poem again I still couldn’t help having the same impression that I had after my first reading of it years ago – namely, that they had broken him. Whatever he actually felt or thought, the poem reads as if they did manage to convince him that there really was something wrong about homosexuality itself – to say nothing about gay sex.
Nevertheless the text does contain a quotation I wrote down to my quotations book:
For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.
For many years now I’ve felt like living several interrelated yet distinct lives in interrelated yet distinct environs – and, metaphorically speaking, I had died once or twice even earlier.