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This poem is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

Ghazals Marilyn Hacker
This Winter

Above the gables and the lamps a hunter’s moon this winter,
clear as a lightbulb or a polished spoon this winter.

Awake at five, awake at six, awake at seven
the light is gone, and not returning soon this winter.

Spit in a cup, hold out your arm for the needle,
blow out hard as you can into a balloon this winter.

‘To write a sonnet is a fascist act’ –
Suggest that to the next tyre-burning goon this winter!

The slave girl stole the king’s mare and rode away –
write her , her canticle, her rune, this winter.

After you left, I didn’t know for the last time,
I listened to an exile play qanoun this winter.

Acedia, bronchitis, despair, nostalgia –
diseases to which I’m not immune this winter.

Oh, weren’t we once gallant and outrageous ? 

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