Wake: Up to Poetry
Poem of the Week: “We Change the Map” by Kerry Hardie
Our apologies for the brief hiatus on our blog. We’ve been busy sending off four of our interns who graduated last week. A big thank you to all our interns for the hours of proofing, box schlepping, blogging, designing, phone calling, reading, chalking, and merriment you so kindly gave to WFU Press this year.
Post-graduation, we tend to think about what’s coming next — “Paths and small roads and the next bend.” Kerry Hardie’s “We Change the Map” seemed right for the occasion.
We Change the Map
This new map, unrolled, smoothed,
seems innocent as the one we have discarded,
impersonal as the clocks in rows
along the upper border, showing time-zones.
The colours are pale and clear, the contours
crisp, decisive, keeping order.
The new names, lettered firmly, lie quite still
within the boundaries that the wars spill over.
It is the times.
I have always been one for paths myself.
The mole’s view. Paths and small roads and the next bend.
Arched trees tunnelling to a coin of light.
No overview, no sense of what lies where.
Pinning up maps now, pinning my attention,
I cannot hold whole countries in my mind,
nor recognise their borders.
These days I want to trace
the shape of every townland in this valley;
name families; count trees, walls, cattle, gable-ends,
smoke-soft and tender in the near blue distance.
-Kerry Hardie, from The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry (2011)