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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
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Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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GERARD SMYTH

 

 

 

Gerard Smyth in Southword Journal

Gerard Smyth is a poet and journalist. His work has been published widely in Ireland and internationally, as well as in translation, since the late 1960s. He is the author of six collections, including A New Tenancy (Dedalus Press, 2004) and The Mirror Tent (Dedalus Press, 2007). The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems (1969 - 2009) was published by Dedalus in 2010. He is a member of Aosdána.

 

 

 

 

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Red Star

War Poets

 

_____

 

 

Red Star

 

Like an old scarecrow

that no longer scares the crows

Lenin on his plinth watches those

who pass his gaze is fixed

on people who have not smiled

since Glasnost.

From a window near the sky

I survey a city so vast

it confounds the eye

and the heart. The boulevard

is a version of infinity,

a tapestry of citizens

on melancholy business.

They are spiritless

in the way they walk

and carry their nostalgia

for the red star on the shoulder

of the Cold War soldier.

 

 

 

 

 

War Poets

 

 

It is one of those clear nights of February

when the nearest star is just beyond the nearest tree.

The extra Leap Year day is ending.

The old tomcat with battle scars is young again.

 

 

In the torn-down cinema instead of plush red seats

there’s a garden of weeds, a wall of graffiti

where the big screen titles once appeared

 

 

and the heroes and heroines in their close-up scenes.

It is one of those clear nights of February

a bomber’s moon that looks theatrical   

 

 

follows where the evening goes among the fallen

and walking shadows, through the library doors

and into the room where war poets

were the first I found in books made sallow by the sun.

 

 

©2012 Gerard Smyth

 

 

Author Links

 

Gerard Smyth Home Page

Poems and bio at Poetry International Web

Audio, poems and books at Dedalus

 

 

 

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