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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 –“The Realm of Nothing Whatever” by Medbh McGuckian

Welcome to “The Realm of Nothing Whatever”.

We have unusual hours. It is only when you are groggy and not quite awake that you can quietly enter this dreamlike space and see striking simliarities between unalike things.  Before you can articulate what you have seen, the time of day is gone.

You are awake.

Careful with the door on the way out.

The Realm of Nothing Whatever

The difference between things
that are really the same is called
Three in the Morning.

The pigeon’s bath and the tiger’s regard,
the dawn air and the night air,
bird-stretchings and bear-hangings
and pillowed corpse on corpse.

The broken tile sunk
in the wide house
with the desolate side windows
that zero summer,

the pearl forever irritating the oyster
with inexorable tenderness,

the small earth cannot just file past
the bracing flood-breath of another planet
as if nothing has happened.

You do well to fade away
as if at a border crossing,
fashioning your vanishing
to end without force
in a minimum, rocking note.

-From Medbh McGuckian’s My Love has Fared Inland .


Categories: Medbh McGuckian, Poem of the Week

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