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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

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.

Medbh McGuckian, from My Love has Fared Inland (2010)

Categories: Medbh McGuckian, Poem of the WeekTags:


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