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This poem is taken from PN Review 30, Volume 9 Number 4, March - April 1983.

Four Poems Thomas Blackburn

Because after thirty years
Paid teaching work comes to a stop,
The notion of ending it jars,
The sense of routine given up
In a sort of minority of death
As what one was good at disappears.

At least one stage of life is ending,
Going down beneath the years,
Not knowing what next will be beginning,
But knowing the fact that one fears.

It is a failure of nerve; the resources never end
Of the living and, too, of the dying,
There is never any last stand,
But a continuity of moving
Onwards and ever into
Life evergreen, ever growing,

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