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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 “Begin” by Brendan Kennelly

“…bridges linking the past and future / old friends passing through with us still.”

With the beginning of the school year, new interns, and an exciting new season in the publishing industry, we’re eager to see what’s ahead.  Therefore, here’s Brendan Kennelly’s poem “Begin” for your enjoyment this week.

“Begin”

Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of the light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

— From The Essential Brendan Kennelly

 


Categories: Brendan Kennelly, Irish Poetry, Poem of the Week, PoetryTags: , ,

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