Oleg А. Chagin (olegchagin) wrote,
Oleg А. Chagin

Death of the post office

Эта поэма написана ирландским поэтом Martin Dyar в 2009

В этом году она входит в список поэм leaving cert English в Ирландии

Если вы поймёте о чем она, у вас очень солидный уровень английского

The job they’re given is fairly simple.

Find the place,

go in for half an hour and discuss the settlement.

Consider, if it’s appropriate,

the few antiques: the safe,

the signs, the switchboard.

Glance at the books, the electrics.

Perhaps fill out some forms.

But these aul’ ones, these Cathleens, these Annies,

they can be fierce long–winded.

For some of our lads their ways

are just too compelling.

Some accept a drink, some’ll have lunch.

We’d a Polish guy who took

a ninety–two–year–old out in the van.

She showed him a ball alley.

Fair enough: dozens of ghosts

and no graffiti. But if you’re not direct

about the job? You understand,

we’ve had to weed out the dreamers.

Immunity to stories, I find,

is the primary quality.

You don’t want to be sitting at an old table,

under a clock that strikes you

as fabulously loud.

Or find yourself cradled by the past,

thinking a man need venture

no further west than the brink he meets

in a mouthful of milky tea.

If the archive–harbouring frailty

of the postmistress soothes you;

if her wit grants you the lost farm

and maternity of the world;

if her isolated, dwindling village, a place

without a pub or a shop,

whose nearest decent

sized town is itself desperately quiet –

if these things move you …

What I mean is, if you can’t meet

a forgotten countryside

head on, and calmly dismantle her,

fold her up, carry her out,

and ship her back

to Head Office, however ambiguous,

however heavy–handed or fateful,

however bloody poignant

the whole affair might seem to you;

if you can’t stand your ground

when a steep moment

of hospitable chat and reminiscence

might tempt you to put

your mobile phone on silent,

or worse, blinded by plates of fruit cake,

to switch it off completely;

if you cannot accompany

an inevitable change, knowing

you did not cause these people, these ways, to vanish,

and if you will not sign off

on expired things for us,

then, I’m sorry, but you are not our man.

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