Muted Song

Darkening days of the year
Before the solstice, Advent
In the ripped grove's detritus.
Wind from the Urals, cruel.
One last campanula's mauve
Bravely, silently peals,
Gazania, dipping, flaunts
Flame petals, African, still.
Under stripped apple-trees
Ungathered fruit, the yellow,
Russet or crimson, lies,
Dole to the songbirds, deer.
It's nightfalls only let
A half-remembered light
Dapple cloud-leaded skies,
The star in hiding glitter.
Chilled the roof fibres raise
To buds their sustenance
And numb limbs dance
To rhythms that absence beats.
A nearly deaf man sings
Come, that we waiters praise
Who serve expectancy,
The always never-yet.

from Wild and Wounded (Anvil Press poetry, 2004), copyright © Michael Hamburger 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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1From a Diary of Non-Events - December

2From a Diary of Non-Events - January

3From a Diary of Non-Events - February

4From a Diary of Non-Events - April

5From a Diary of Non-Events - July

6From a Diary of Non-Events - August

7From a Diary of Non-Events - September

8From a Diary of Non-Events - November

9Tautological Ode to a Cat

10Redundant Epitaphs


11Conversation with the Muse of Old Age






14Beech Hedge in Winter


15Muted Song

16Snowed In


18Ave atque Vale

Books by Michael Hamburger