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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 Week: “Clotho” by Caitríona O’Reilly

It’s publication week for Caitríona O’Reilly’s new volume Geis (available now in print, iBook, and Kindle editions). This week’s featured poem is a sneak peek into this wonderful book. For more on O’Reilly’s inspiration, writing process, and more, check out our Q&A with the poet. Happy reading, poetry lovers!


after Camille Claudel

And in the end it was easiest to let go
of all that vigilance, the endless distaff-to-spindle rigour
of your compulsions, and allow the silks to snarl.
For a while, perhaps, you struggled to escape,

snared like an insect in your own allurements.
You had never believed that life was what happened to us.
Rather it was to strike sparks from stone repeatedly,
smoothing the planes with a morsel of bone

until your own eyes glittered in the veined torso.
For here there is no place that does not see you . . .
You were a wilful girl, and wilful girls must learn
that to haul life from matter is a god’s concern.

And always there was something there you could not reach:
it flickered below the surface of the marble
like a candle behind a grimed window,
mocking your eager questions like an echo.

Caitríona O’Reilly, from Geis (2015)

Categories: Caitriona O'Reilly, Poem of the WeekTags: ,


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