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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 Narrator” by Conor O’Callaghan

Conor O’Callaghan’s newest volume, Live Streaming, will be published this fall, and in preparation for that, we’ve been re-visiting his previous poetry. In the metafictive volume of poems, Fiction, O’Callaghan considers the act of creation and his own search for voice. “The Narrator” takes its place in this collection as a poem that explores the interaction between reader and narrator. Reminiscent of an audiobook narrator whose voice is turned on and off at the pleasure of the listener, “The Narrator” makes the reader consider their own inflection of voice and how it affects a piece of writing. The poem begins at the title, and the self-referential Narrator leads into the body of the poem to explore his own proximity to the act of reading.

The Narrator,

during the break in chapter,
gets up to stretch beneath a skylight
and hears seagulls, small girls running.
So many pages since he listened last
that he can’t recall how it came to this
or which wall the door was on
or even now what time of year it is.
Are his own pauses, he wants to ask aloud,
out there captivating someone else,
when an absent-minded ‘Where was I?’
echoes through and he returns
to the place you left off.

Conor O’Callaghan, from Fiction (2005)

O'Callaghan | Fiction paper


Categories: Conor O'Callaghan, New Releases, Poem of the WeekTags: ,

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