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This poem is taken from PN Review 31, Volume 9 Number 5, May - June 1983.

Poems D.W. Hartnett

So few yield much worth keeping:
Letters . . . diaries . . . I turn,
Face this leftover cairn,
Its soft septaria seeping
Dust or shreds of each other.
Voids. What heaped them together?

A night. . . dead leaves . . . loose tiles . . .
The centrifuge of air . . .
Or days, stooping up the stair
In long encumbered files . . .?
Or did they never form less
Than structured emptiness?

My shadow, when I duck round a rafter,
Warps like paper in a fire-
I can climb no higher . . .
Outside wind stammers and, after,
...


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