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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 Wood” by Paul Muldoon

As we endure the stresses and chaos of long work days or classes, we crave some peace and quiet—the familiarity of home. We know that wherever we are in the world, we can always come home to the people we love and the home we cherish. Paul Muldoon’s “The Wood” echoes this desire for solace in the comfort of our homes and and reminds us to be grateful for the people, smells, and tastes that accompany our homecoming. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and anticipation of our return home, enjoy “The Wood.”

The Wood

They tell me how they bought
An hour of silence
From a juke-box in New York
Or San Francisco once,

That now they intend
To go back to their home place
For a bit of peace,

A house overlooking a lake
And a wood for kindling.

‘But you can’t fell trees
That had stood for as long
As anyone remembers?’

‘The wood we have in mind will stand
While it has lost its timber.’

Paul Muldoon, from Mules (1977)


Categories: Irish Poetry, Paul Muldoon, Poem of the Week

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