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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: “O Rome” by Thomas Kinsella

O Rome by Thomas Kinsella

In “O Rome,” Thomas Kinsella reflects on the mundanity which exists even in a city as steeped in culture and history as Rome. Though the poem is set in Rome, the coffee-fueled daze of the clerks speaks to a universal feeling of listlessness.

O Rome

O Rome thou art, at coffee break, O Rome
Thou also art a town of staring clerks,
Staring the azure window at mid-morning,
Commemorating something in a daze.

Dissociated from the flesh, upright
In attitude, they sit like organ pipes
Stale vapours of antiquity sigh through.
Each simple, all in stock-still harmony.

Thomas Kinsella, from Collected Poems (2006)

Categories: Poem of the Week, Thomas KinsellaTags: ,

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