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CONTRA MORTEM: THE GREAT DEATH, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh if a thousand old folk looked askance
Last Line: That was what they called their questing was their lack
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The

Oh if a thousand old folk looked askance
when a puff of cyanide like a colorless wind
seized their gentle world
so and
who else
observed it Yet behind
the customary daylight the small dance
of twinkling leaves had darkened and the scenes
that were revisited and tales retold
were not the same Strangely the world
looked empty and strangely distant as if the stones
themselves had grown absentminded
and had forfeited their presence yet the suns
rose the moons set and people were openhanded
or closefisted as before The children went back
to school where a few of them comprehended
that what was called their questing was their lack.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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