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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: “Sleep” by Katie Donovan

This week’s Poem of the Week comes from one of our favorite anthologies of poetry, The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry. As we near the end of the semester, with all its hustle and bustle, Katie Donovan’s poem “Sleep” feels particularly striking. The poem has a peaceful, relaxing tone, and artfully reminds us to rest our ever-active minds and rejuvenate our tired bodies.


Come to me, best companion,
for you I’ll lose the teasing muses,
the brain’s ceaseless surgical analysis,
what I crave is not lust, nor even tenderness,
but long hours of oblivion.
A selfish lone float of recuperation,
without interruption (not even to pee or feed)
would be infinite bliss indeed.

After this embrace–that only you can give–
I’ll wake with my face reshaped
into a pleasing semblance of my youth,
my eyes without their veins of red,
my joints oiled and gliding as they should.
Just raise your mantle
over my worn out body and I will breathe
as cosy and silent as a daisy,
all my petals folded, waiting
for enough sun to convince me it is day.

–Katie Donovan, from The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry (2011)

Categories: Poem of the WeekTags: ,


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