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This poem is taken from PN Review 101, Volume 21 Number 3, January - February 1995.

Pall Bearing Patrick McGuinness

(in memoriam David Wright)

The unknowns - all poets - who carried Victor Hugo's coffin
were, it seems, chosen more for their physiques (stocky, broad-
shouldered, six feet) than for their poetry (stodgy, broadly-
derivative, alexandrine). The day's press reports
their procession, the boxed patriarch on their shoulders
(still lighter than his collected works and, for all the wood,

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