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This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

Consolations of Philosophy Derek Mahon

When we start breaking up in the wet darkness
And the rotten boards fall from us, and the ribs
Crack under the constriction of tree roots
And the seasons slip from the fields unknown to us,

Oh, then there will be the querulous complaining
From citizens who had never dreamt of this -
Who, shaken to the bone in their stout boxes
By the latest bright cars, will not inspect them
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