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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: “Bessboro” by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin


This is what I inherit—
It was never my own life,
But a house’s name I heard
And others heard as warning
Of what might happen a girl
Daring and caught by ill-luck:
A fragment of desolate
Fact, a hammer-note of fear—

But I never saw the place.
Now that I stand at the gate
And that time is so long gone
It is their absence that rains,
That stabs right into the seams
Of my big coat, in pointed
Needles, crowding the short day.

The white barred gate is closed,
The white fence tracks out of sight
Where the avenue goes, rain
Veils distance, dimming all sound
And a halfdrawn lace of mist
Hides elements of the known:
Gables and high blind windows.
The story has moved away.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, from The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (2002)

Categories: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Poem of the WeekTags: ,


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