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This poem is taken from PN Review 37, Volume 10 Number 5, March - April 1984.

The English Melancholy Jennifer McMahon

I too have lost myself in leafy counties
Where history is expressed in massed trees
And continuity in the individual
Tree where the bird sings.

In buried alleys
Where the jay skitters
We tread out meaning
And pungent absences
Acrid as chestnut pith
In Spanish codlings bitten.
Love one wishes to give
To brown details, to earth,
Hurts like a barbed bur.

We are not needed, remembered -
Pass, without hand-fling of seed;
Wander, not ever-returning
...


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