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This poem is taken from PN Review 208, Volume 39 Number 2, November - December 2012.

Ewelme William Bibby
(Geoffrey Chaucer's son, Thomas, is buried in the Church and his granddaughter, Alice, fills the chancel with her tomb.)

My grand-daughter lies here while she is not;
beneath an alabaster canopy shielding
these dark lawns where the dead lie married.
Upon her vault she strives her Herculean frame
to sit upright, her hundredweights,
her stone thumbs, her marble chrysalis, her tongues
while vellum begins to scratch against my quill
and to persist century after century;
poems still pursue themselves entangling
the miracle, given life, once, forever.
Biside I wourld not rite a word nor yet
a tale but all they cam to me unbid.

My gambits rendered unfit the righting of pilgrims
and the wronging of their churches' bells.

Alice related once her dream: a magnificent
...


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