ix

Now we are back to normal, now the mind is
Back to the even tenor of the usual day
Skidding no longer across the uneasy camber
Of the nightmare way.
We are safe though others have crashed the tailings
Over the river ravine; their wheel-tracks carve the bank
But after the event all we can do is argue
And count the widening ripples where they sank.
October comes with rain whipping around the ankles
In waves of white at night
And filling the raw clay trenches (the parks of London Are a nasty sight).
In a week I return to work, lecturing, coaching,
As impresario of the Ancient Greeks
Who wore the chiton and lived on fish and olives
And talked philosophy or smut in cliques;
Who believed in youth and did not gloze the unpleasant
Consequences of age;
What is life, one said, or what is pleasant
Once you have turned the page
Of love? The days grow worse, the dice are loaded
Against the living man who pays in tears for breath;

-37-

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Autumn Journal: A Poem
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Note 7
  • I 9
  • II 13
  • III 16
  • IV 22
  • VI 26
  • VII 30
  • VIII 33
  • IX 37
  • X 40
  • XI 44
  • XII 47
  • XIII 50
  • XIV 54
  • XV 57
  • XVI 61
  • XVII 66
  • XVIII 70
  • XIX 75
  • XX 78
  • XXI 81
  • XXII 85
  • XXIII 89
  • XXIV 93
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