(To Gough, on the death of a mutual friend, Margaret.)
What temperate, cold containment
Can be sustained for such grief?
No words, nor music can console
No elegy gives relief.
The thread is cut for dear Margaret
With her honour, reasoned mind
Agile wit, humour and bold truth
Her parallel still to find.
She has died, mourned by this nation
But Gough, by none more than you
No reason to call out ‘Margaret!’
No gods to hear plaintiff pleas.
As feminists, we hold belief
In equal rights and choice free
Her towering strength is our great loss.
She’s lit a path we still see.
In death’s dark forest she is lost
Such is life and death arranged
Yet, patience and hope endure
Still more ideas can be changed.
Written in reference to Horace Odes 1:24
translation Dr Jacqueline Clarke