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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: “Augury” by Caitríona O’Reilly

This week’s poem is by Caitríona O’Reilly, whose poems are featured in our recent anthology, The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry. Last fall, the Wake Forest community was offered the opportunity to listen to O’Reilly, along with  Rita Ann Higgins, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and Leontia Flynn, as the Women’s Anthology tour kicked off in Winston-Salem. This semester, Wake got lucky again: O’Reilly is teaching a course here on Creative Writing!


Magnetic winds from the sun pour in
and send our instruments akimbo.
Nothing runs like clockwork now.
As skeletal clouds unwreathe our exposure,
panicky citizens climb ladders to hammer
their roofs on harder. A crackle of static,
and the world’s fat face is in shadow.
There are swollen nests under the eaves,
each with a staring cargo: six bronze bibs,
six black-masked, African birds. They dip
and snap the last bees up. A million Ms
foregather with a million others on the sky.
This is the shape that memory takes.
For days they practise flying, then they fly.

Caitríona O’Reilly, from The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry (2011)

Categories: Caitriona O'Reilly, Poem of the WeekTags: , , ,


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