Friday, March 18, 2011

Poetry Friday: An Atticus Hibernian Pick

Because I was too busy yesterday to get a second St. Patrick's day post up using Atticus' pick of the day, I'm using it now. Thus, a multi-tasking poem from Marianne Moore. It works for St. Patrick's Day, for Poetry Friday, for wit, aching irony, and the bit of genetic memory that I feel for all things North Atlantic.

Some of my favorite stanzas are below, and you can find the entire poem here, at

Spenser's Ireland
by Marianne Moore

has not altered; --
a place as kind as it is green,
the greenest place I've never seen.

... Outwitting
the fairies, befriending the furies,
whoever again
and again says, "I'll never give in," never sees

that you're not free
until you've been made captive by
supreme belief,

... like the purple-coral fuchsia-tree's. Eire--
the guillemot
so neat and the hen
of the heath and the
linnet spinet-sweet-bespeak relentlessness? Then

they are to me
like enchanted Earl Gerald who
changed himself into a stag, to
a great green-eyed cat of
the mountain. Discommodity makes
them invisible; they've dis-
appeared. The Irish say your trouble is their
trouble and your
joy their joy? I wish
I could believe it;
I am troubled, I'm dissatisfied, I'm Irish.


The Poetry Friday round up is at A Wrung Sponge.

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