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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: “October” by Harry Clifton

Between the very Irish weather (a full week of rain and gloom here in NC) and the hectic schedule of midterms week, we are ready for the serenity of fall that Harry Clifton’s “October” illustrates in this week’s featured poem taken from the book, The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass. Happy October!


The big news around here is the fall of leaves
In Harrington Street and Synge Street,
Lying about in pockets, adrift at your feet
As you kick them away. The other news is the trees—
Their yellow, as I speak, is unbelievable,
Not that you need me to tell you. Everywhere
The house is falling down around our ears
And it’s wonderful, in the dry, spicy air,
How quietly it happens. Close your eyes,
Don’t think, just listen. Hear them fall, the years
We came towards each other, out of a sun
Already westering. Look at us, even yet,
Exchanging tree-lore, twenty years on
In a leafless cathedral—bride and groom, well-met.

Harry Clifton, from The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass (2012)


Categories: Harry Clifton, Poem of the WeekTags: ,


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