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This poem is taken from PN Review 4, Volume 4 Number 4, July - September 1978.

Winter's Talents Donald Davie

for Peter Scupham and Robert Wells

Nebulous, freezingly moist,
The need for a feelingful voice
Moves athwart and away
And upon us again, as we move
Northwest. The silvery stripes
Of mist come in and recede.
Past Hereford, each tree,
Grass-stalk and hedge stands dressed in
The need, a fur of rime.

Dee-side and Mersey-side
Lie up ahead, blocked off
In freezing fog. To them
The voice must speak. The rime
Dies off in the chemical reek.
Whose swag, whose chiselled cadence
Crusts, or whose coral, in
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