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

Poems P.J. Kavanagh


When the Philistine host, besieging the muse-men, attacks,
It will find it had no need to bother:
Beleagured poets had long ago slaughtered each other:

Are dead for the good perhaps, because bored bullies surely
Will now conceive songs of self-praise and ennui
And some of the beefs, now muse-struck, become so refined
They in turn will turn and rend their kind.


Surprised at a dawning white-white with dews
On webs, in sheets on everything everywhere,
A work of darkness whiter than white air-
It comes again, the thought he cannot lose
(Though he'd like to) that the world is continuous speech,
Spoken once, always different, always out of reach.
Best, for sanity's sake, ignored: a noise

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