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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 3 Number 3, 1974.

Two Poems David Wright


NOT SO MUCH AN ELEGY
(i.m. Brian Higgins 1930 - 1965)


Six months underground at Birstall where he came from,
Elegies begin to appear in the public prints:
Of dead poets, he knew, elegies are the doom;
Also posthumous, unspendable cash. Higgins

Must have known he could not beat that ironic rap.
I've made as much money as ever I gave him,
Writing his obituaries. His manuscript
Remains are being bought by the British Museum

To be laid up for keeps fifty yards from the pub
Where he worked at bumming drinks or a place to kip,
Or trying to con a publisher out of five quid.
He was that bloody menace, a pure poet.

His friends were his victims and most of his victims
Were poets - some better, but none as pure as he;
...


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