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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: “Planter” by Moyra Donaldson

Moyra Donaldson gives us a glimpse of agricultural life as she paints a picture of her brother’s farm in the poem “Planter.” Not only is he growing new life, but he is faithful and resilient in his efforts, reminding us that working with the land can be a rewarding struggle in the winter months. She expands the topic to include the familial relationships that populate the farm through brother and sister, husband and wife, and father and children.

"Planter" by Moyra Donaldson


My brother is a lean white shadow in the early morning light,
unspoken things
have kept him thin, despite his wife’s attempts to fatten him on love.

From the window I watch him walk his fields to their furthest edges,
where the deer graze.
He has dug himself a place, refused to be the seed on stony ground

and with a farmer’s faith, he harvests himself against winter,
each winnowing
yielding the new history that he is planting in his children’s hearts.

Moyra Donaldson, from The New North (2008)

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