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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: “Time-Words” by Medbh McGuckian

Published the year I was born, Medbh McGuckian’s Marconi’s Cottage is full of mysterious and intriguing poems. Her use of metaphors and similes makes the following a beautiful piece of writing and an inspiring work of art.


I am a debt, soon I will be added,
As words wither away with the things they describe,
As clouds may catch each other up,
As now is overtaken and tomorrow is an ‘I’.

Saying ‘we’ is dangerous, like time-words without soul.
I must have met them yesterday and loved their hunger.
The sea lives in the present so the present exists
In its waters like a heart not made to be broken.

Light is wider than time, it is I love,
It gives up being everything to become a view,
Like an emerald uncreating itself
To be green predominating in a skirt.

And the kiss is to turn the light back,
As though burnt or exhausted by its touch;
It is the theft when it has vanished,
And the dark feels, what part of it was loved?

Medbh McGuckian, from Marconi’s Cottage (1992)

Categories: Medbh McGuckian, Poem of the WeekTags:


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