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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."

A Poem for Japan

While we have all been in the process of moving back into Wake this weekend and admiring our fine spring weather, Japan has been dealing with the aftermath of a 9.0 earthquake and complementary tsunami. Imagining our campus being flooded with dirty water, lost cars, and broken buildings instead of yellow daffodils, pink trees, and tour groups is unfathomable to me. And while I can see aerial coverage of the devastation on the news, for a ground level view I turn to poetry. Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s poem Tsunami gives a personal account of being in the midst of a disaster. Although her poem takes place in Ireland in 1942, so many lines are relateable to today; “Neither wall nor fence was left, only scattered fragments/ For two miles along the cliff.” I try my best to imagine life in Japan right now, turning drizzle into downpour and puddles into lakes. Our damp day is nothing compared to their wrecked week.


Categories: Ni DhomhaillTags: ,


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