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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: “Jesse” by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin


As you lie in sleep there grows like a lung inflating
A tree out of your navel, enlarging and toppling
Into its perfection when the leaves and the fruit are soft as air,
Are drenched like capillaries, and as they swell
They become transparent and fade away:

The true tree of knowledge which is good for nothing
But to grow out of your navel like a family tree
That each son and daughter carries the seed of,
That will grow some time and flourish and be gone.

They are able to give you only the light that passes through the leaves,
No lasting fruit at all.

Eiléan Ní ChuilleanáinThe Girl Who Married the Reindeer (2002)

Detail of Jesse from the Stained Glass window of All Saints Church, Hove, Sussex, England


Categories: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Poem of the WeekTags: , ,

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