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This poem is taken from PN Review 183, Volume 35 Number 1, September - October 2008.

Song in Winter Andrew McNeillie

Affliction

Stand not on your dignity.
Whoever saw a thrush decline the laurel?

Stand and sing your threnody,
however sorrowful.


Chanson d'hiver

I lie awake for more than half the night,
like a northern summer, my mind suffused
with light, though it's deep winter still
and long days are a dream that's yet to come
when short nights keep a bonfire never quite
gone out. I call this hope, if you will.

An oyster-catcher on a roof-ridge pipes
night ashore and day aboard in light
like wreaths of smoke; and, even from this far,
I can hear the tide crunch packed air,
...


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