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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."

Happy World Poetry Day!!

Today, all of us a Wake Forest University Press hope you’re enjoying World Poetry Day!! Our internet community has been helping us celebrate in many ways. First, we’re excited to see that The Poetry Project for poetry and art from Ireland has recently added a new project inspired by Paula Meehan’s “My Father Perceived as a Vision of St Francis.” You can find a link to the project on our Facebook and Twitter page where we’ve been sharing several lines from the poem and larger thoughts on poetry throughout the day. With all of this new attention on Paula Meehan, we at the Press thought it would be fun to share our personal favorite poem from Meehan, “Dharmakaya.”

Dharmakaya

   for Thom McGinty
When you step out into death
with a deep breath,
the last you’ll ever take
in this shape,
remember the first step on the street–
the footfall and the shadow
of its fall–into silence. Breathe
slow-
ly out before the foot finds solid earth again,
before the city rain
has washed all trace
of your step away.
Remember a time in the woods, a path
you walked so gently
no twig snapped
no bird startled.
Between breath and no breath
your hands cupped your own death,
a gift, a bowl of grace
you brought home to us–
become a still pool
in the anarchic flow, the street’s
unceasing carnival
of haunted and redeemed.

-from Dharmakaya (2002)


Categories: Irish Poetry, Irish Women's Poetry, Paula MeehanTags:

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