This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Sean O'Brien Poem
From Hammersmith
‘Me all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds
To blazon broad amongst her learned throng.
Fierce warres and faithful loves shall moralize my song.’

Canto III

A lifetime upriver, out here on this spindly bridge
Across the sky-blue Cherwell
I watch the flat earth mirror heaven

In the February flood. Can it be that now
On the brink of old age I may begin?
The dreaming mind will lose no chance

To mobilise belief, so why not here
Among the sunken willows
And the houseboats moored to nowhere –

‘Our lives in infinite preparation’?
                                                     Did you ever
Take a notion, Ryan asks, to jump in the river and drown?
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