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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

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THEOPHILUS KWEK

 

 

Theophilus KwekTheophilus Kwek is the author of three collections, They Speak Only Our Mother Tongue (2011), Circle Line (2013), and Giving Ground (2016). He won the Martin Starkie Prize in 2014 and the Jane Martin Prize in 2015, and has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. He is president of the Oxford University Poetry Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loch na Fuaiche

from Cong, 25 minutes via R345 and R300.

 

 

No telling on this drive, what must

take years to know: how love is found

 

in a valley’s delta, where two fields meet

in stone—a low wall, raised here by hand

 

from the slow gathering on either side

of rock, large enough to unearth a crop

 

or throw a furrow sideways. A difficult task

given how, from near the mountaintop

 

each spring, loosed in its wounded thaw

the river brings new boulders toward the sea

 

and leaves them by the weir. Or even how

faintly the loch wears the county’s edge

 

till fields are sunk, and disappear

with a season’s planting, all their names

 

and boundaries intact. Every now and then

a winter’s weather still fills the glen,

 

so all we can see is the black backbone

of our stones underwater, no more a wall

 

but a path, flood-lit in the shallow depths,

that links the far sides of the loch, and then

 

rises, to join hands with the lifting land.

 

 

 

©2016 Theophilus Kwek

 

 

Author Links

 

Three Theophilus Kwek poems in the Oxonian Review

Criticial articles about Theophilus Kwek and sample poems at Poetry.sg

'Sonnets for Singapore': poem at Quarterly Literary Review Singapore

 

 

 

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