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This poem is taken from PN Review 257, Volume 47 Number 3, January - February 2021.

A Charles Baudelaire Suite
translated from the French
Daisy Fried
Autumn Song

Soon the plunge in dark and cold;
Goodbye too soon to summer’s limpid light!
Already, I’m hearing firewood thump
Its hollow pavement shocks.

Winter feelings rush in: wrath,
Loathing, thrills of dread, sentence of hard labour,
And, like the sky in its polar hell,
My heart will freeze, a meaty block.

I shudder, listening to each log chopped.
A gallows being built has that muffled echo.
My mind’s a teetering parapet
Annihilated by a battering ram below.

Rockabyed by this metronomic knock,
Seems someone hasty’s nailing shut a coffin –
For whom? – it was just summer! now fall.

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