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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 Finder has Become the Seeker” by Medbh McGuckian

We are looking forward to spring coming just around the corner, though a thick layer of new snow is just starting to melt outside. The play of language in today’s poem, Medbh McGuckian’s “The Finder has Become the Seeker,” offers images of resurrection, extraction and emergence that ultimately gives the reader a feeling of hope.

The Finder has Become the Seeker

Sleep easy, supposed fatherhood,
resembling a flowerbed.
Though I extract you here and now
from the soil, open somehow
your newly opened leaves:
I like to breathe what ought to be.

You desire to exist through me;
I want to disappear exhausted in you.
We are things squeezed out, like lips,
not that which serves as coverings—
give me the strength to distinguish myself
from you, such ill-matched wings.

Night furs you, winter clothes you,
Homerically studded in your different planting.
You jangle the keys of the language
you are not using, your understanding
of sunlight is more language than that,
your outcast sounds scatter their fluid carpet.

Your mouth works beyond desolation and glass.
Your mask draws nearer to the other mask.
Your tongue, layered with air, presses a triple breath.
Your thinking fingers possess the acoustic earth:
oh do not heal, dip your traveling eye
the length of my so tightly conceived journey!

Medbh McGuckian from Captain Lavender (1995)


Categories: Irish Poetry, Irish Women's Poetry, Medbh McGuckian, Poem of the Week

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