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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: “What Does ‘Early’ Mean?” by Medbh McGuckian

What Does ‘Early’ Mean?

Happy house across the road
My eighteen-inch deep study of you
Is like a chair carried out into the garden,
And back again because the grass is wet.

Yet I think winter has ended
Privately in you, and lies in half-asleep,
Of her last sleep, at the foot
Of one of your mirrors—hence
the spring-day smile with which
You smarten up your mouth
Into a retina of new roofs, new thoughts.

None of my doors has slammed
Like that, every sentence is the same
Old workshop sentence, ending
Rightly or wrongly in the ruins
Of an evening spent in puzzling
Over the meaning of six o’clock or seven:

Or why the house across the road
Has such a moist-day sort of name,
Evoking ships and their wind-blown ways.

Medbh McGuckian, from On Ballycastle Beach (1988)

Categories: Medbh McGuckian, Poem of the WeekTags: ,


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