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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 — “A Language” by Bendan Kennelly

This week’s poem is A Language from the Essential Brendan Kennelly. 

A Language

I had a language once.
I was at home there.
Someone murdered it
Buried it somewhere.
I use different words now
Without skill, truly as I can.
A man without a language
Is half a man, if he’s lucky.

Sometimes the lost words flare from their grave
Why do I think then of angels,
Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers?
I gaze amazed at them from far away.
They are starting to dance, they are
Shaping themselves into vengefully beautiful flowers

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