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This poem is taken from PN Review 182, Volume 34 Number 6, July - August 2008.

translates The Wanderer Bernard O'Donoghue

i.m. Gerard Hermele and Margaret Wilkinson


It's true that when you are depressed
you can be raised by the mercy
of God, however bad things seem,
however far it seems that you have strayed
from the fields of home, as you stand
smoking by the rail and watching
the big waves hitting against the dark.
But there's no cure for it.

This is how the exile put it -
refugee rather, when he thought
of those terrible, death-filled months:
'How often have I woken up
to feel the weight still unlifted
by the dawn chorus. And I don't dare
change the medicine, or go back
...


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