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This poem is taken from PN Review 32, Volume 9 Number 6, July - August 1983.

Poems Charles Tomlinson

POEM FOR MY FATHER

I bring to countryside my father's sense
Of an exile ended when he fished his way
Along the stained canal and out between
The first farms, the uninterrupted green,
To find once more the Suffolk he had known
Before the Somme. Yet there was not one tree
Unconscious of that name and aftermath
Nor is there now. For everything we see
Teaches the time that we are living in,
Whose piecemeal speech the vocables of Eden
Pace in reminder of the full perfection,
As oaks above these waters keep their gold
Against the autumn long past other trees
Poised between paradise and history.


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