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This poem is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

from Hammersmith Sean O'Brien
Canto IX

It is far away, sixty years later.
This dying city’s leaking steam
From every joint. The libraries are closed,

The discards burning in the mayoral hearth,
And out along the ragged edge
The book of January is white at dawn

Like the long field under hoarfrost
That divides this old estate
On which no library ever stood

And where the poor are exiled now.
To ignorance and rickets.
You cannat eat a poem, canny lad.

Past the full, the tall moon
Climbs aboard its long farewell,
And from the coldest depths

A dog might hear the peal of star-clouds

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