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This poem is taken from PN Review 97, Volume 20 Number 5, May - June 1994.

Five Poems Richard Dove

Ice Age
(for Michael Hamburger)

Inevitable Arctic,
strait as lace,
indeed entirely puritanical…
one's compass-needle wobbles,
gets frenetically erect…

It's not much fun
in so much frost:
one squats beside
iced-over holes
where what was lost
will surface- soon!-
and watches all the waddling,
the bluish-black and white.

O precious scales
upon the eyes;
this is no borough
for a bird of paradise.

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