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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Poem of the Day: “Be Someone” by Rita Ann Higgins

In honor of National Poetry Month, WFU will be posting a poem a day for the entire month of April. Today’s poem is “Be Someone” by Rita Ann Higgins, a working class Irish poet and playwright. Her work can be found in the Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry.

“Be Someone”

by Rita Ann Higgins
from The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry
For Christ’s sake,
learn to type
and have something
to fall back on.

Be someone,
make something of yourself,
look at Gertrudo Ganley.

Always draw the curtains
when the lights are on.

Have nothing to do
with the Shantalla gang,
get yourself a right man
with a Humber Sceptre.

For Christ’s sake
wash your neck
before going into God’s house.

Learn to speak properly,
always pronounce your ings.
Never smoke on the street,
don’t be caught dead in them shameful tight slacks,

spare the butter,

and for Christ’s sake
at all times,
watch your language.

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