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This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

Ferns and the Night John Ash
'Und wir hörten sie noch von ferne
Trotzig singen im Wald.'

This is the sort of place you might arrive at after a long journey
involving the deaths of several famous monsters,
only to be disappointed almost to the point of grief.

Heavy clouds hang in a clump above a wide, perfectly level plain
which is the image of a blank mind. Night is falling.
There is a wooden house, a lighted porch: it is a scene of
  'marvellous simplicity'. -
Too marvellous perhaps: the very grain of the wood offers itself
for our admiration, and the light has such 'warmth'
it is hard to restrain tears. The clouds are now distinctly purple,
agitated, - a kind of frantically stirred borsch, suitable backdrop
for some new opera's Prelude of Foreboding, but not for this
  ambiguous scene
of severity tempered by domestic tenderness, in which we find
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