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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

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Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
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GRAHAM ALLEN

 

 

 

graham allenGraham Allen is a Professor of English at University College Cork. He is the author of numerous academic books and articles, including Harold Bloom: A Poetics of Conflict (1994), Intertextuality (2000, 2nd Ed. 2010) and Mary Shelley (2008). His poetry has been published in numerous journals; he was the winner of the Listowel Single Poem Prize in 2010 and was shortlisted for The Crashaw Prize in 2013. Allen's collection The One that Got Away was published by New Binary Press in 2014. His on-line epoem Holes is also published by New Binary Press. He is currently working with Pat Cotter on an edition of commissioned poems entitled New Eyes on the Great Book of Ireland to be published by The Munster Literature Centre in 2014.


 

 

 

Torn

 

Now we are lost

to each other

and you live in

that place of skulls

where no one laughs

and the seas roar

lamentations

and I remain

in the warmth of

your parents’ house

learning the songs

you sang as a

girl reading the books

you learnt by heart

eating the food

that raised you,

I wonder how

destiny comes 

to separate

what we have made

and why things

which should stand true

turn inside out.

 

I have written

a poem set

against the wind

that washes us

to different shores,

it folds us back

like poems can

against the clock

and compass face.

It folds us back

as poems can

into that realm

time denies us.

Like a song sung

by an old drunk

at a wedding,

it folds us back.

Like a song heard

by the harbour

wall at midnight

by a woman half mad,

it folds us back.

Like a child hears

another child’s mother

singing it to sleep,

it folds us back.

Like poems can

and sometimes will,

it folds us back.

 

 

 

©2014 Graham Allen

 

 

Author Links

 

Graham Allen's epoem 'Holes'

Several poems by Allen in The Weary Blues (Issue 2)

'Nothing Ventured, On Holes': poem by Allen in Peduline (Issue 9)

 

 

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