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This poem is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

After ‘Syringa’ Paul Griffiths
Something like an Orpheus and Eurydice – didn’t he say? – as these things were in other seasons.
No longer.
So what must the poem be – and become?
How can it last out the storm
After the chant
Has helplessly engulfed in too much vivid flood each careful element?
What of it can withstand all that,
Relieved and in a dull way glad, if subject to electric shudders
That are the fixed burthen of being streaked white by each happening, but still living?
An abstract of memories, of slow regrets?
A disaster disappeared even into the fissures that once burst out with flares of meaning?
A sparkling feather of these first few birds hidden in the late reeds?
Is it a tale told of an incident,
A comet tail that at the horizon lights the sky but must then go,
Grasses all around – some maverick thought them treasure –
But they are fully changed, yellow-gray, dusty,
...


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