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This poem is taken from PN Review 148, Volume 29 Number 2, November - December 2002.

Thanks Neil Powell

                             I. O. J. P. 1911-1994

And you thought I'd forgotten. Hardly. It's just
that the book's last poem had to be for you,
made of these stammering, rueful syllabics,
the closest thing that poets have to silence.
Though in truth I shan't forget our silences:
yours, as I thought, fraught with disdain and distance,
mine full of priggish intellectual anger -
a line of communication, after all,
since in the end we knew each other too well
to need to speak.
                               Outside, slow November dusk:
this is the moment we depressives like best,
when jabbering daylight no longer nags at us
and melancholia makes us feel at home;
time to close curtains, get the tea, look forward
to sherry, supper and a long safe evening;
then crossword, concert on the Third, a nightcap,
...


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