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This poem is taken from PN Review 29, Volume 9 Number 3, January - February 1983.

Eleven Uncollected Poems (selected by P. J. Kavanagh) Ivor Gurney
chosen by P. J. Kavanagh


It is winter, the soon dark annoys me-
Who cannot remember Severn her warm dark lights;
And am too tortured to remember old ploys the
Gloucesters used to please themselves in the straits
Of poverty and idleness of French villages.
Then before opening-time they would walk house-bordered
Or leafy ways-hurrying, keeping off the fierce cold.
Then when lights showed, the estaminet's time came,
They would hammer on the door; they would shout out good-
Rudenesses; enter, sit within, and as careful
As old ladies of knitting would drink beer or more honoured
Wine, trembling at the expense, which to them was fearful;
Bask in the warm, dream poetry of the gold flame.

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