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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: “Peace” by Ciaran Carson

"Peace" by Ciaran Carson


Back then, you wouldn’t know from one day to the next what might
happen next. Everything was, as it were, provisional,

slipping from the unforeseeable into tomorrow
even as the jittery present became history.

What kinds of times are these, you’d say, when a conversation
is deemed a crime because it includes so much that is said?

And all the unanswered questions of those dark days come back
to haunt us, the disabled guns that still managed to kill,

the witnesses that became ghosts in the blink of an eye.
Whom can we prosecute, when no-one is left fit to speak?

I read in this morning’s paper, you said, of a stables
in England which had been set on fire. An eyewitness spoke

of horses whinnying, of hooves battering on the doors,
doors padlocked and bolted against all possible escape.

Ciaran Carson, from For All We Know (2008)

Categories: Ciaran Carson, Poem of the WeekTags: ,

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