Sunday, October 24, 2010

"An Infinite Rustling And Sighing": Derek Mahon

I fear that I am wearing out my autumn welcome, but please bear with me as another leaf-tinged offering arrives.  The following poem is by Derek Mahon.


The prisoners of infinite choice
Have built their house
In a field below the wood
And are at peace.

It is autumn, and dead leaves
On their way to the river
Scratch like birds at the windows
Or tick on the road.

Somewhere there is an afterlife
Of dead leaves,
A stadium filled with an infinite
Rustling and sighing.

Somewhere in the heaven
Of lost futures
The lives we might have lived
Have found their own fulfilment.

Derek Mahon, Selected Poems (The Gallery Press/Viking 1991).

                       Robin Tanner, "The Gamekeeper's Cottage" (1928)

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