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

Poem Michael Hamburger

I.
What can they find here to feed on,
All these Irish corvidae,
The black and the hooded crows,
The rooks, the magpies, the choughs,
Ubiquitous jackdaws, lone ravens,
With the live sheep even so sparse
On Wicklow's bare hills?
Or the sparrow-hawks, where no sparrows chirped?

A great hunger it must be
For them too, though they seem to thrive
On desolation, on emptiness,
Competing with gulls on the coasts,
Competing with nothing
Above the open or covered wounds
The peat-cutters leave;
Above the alien mansions
Abandoned or burnt out,
...


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