Our Poem Of The Week, presented in association with Poetry Ireland, is Cry by John Montague.
John Montague’s forthcoming collection, Second Childhood is being published on 28 February 2017 — on what would have been John’s 88th birthday. A windfall from one of Ireland’s revered and best-loved poets.
As I work quietly
by a large window
overlooking the sea
I hear a sudden cry,
intense and terrible.
Did someone strike a child
or lash a cringing dog?
I straighten and turn
to see workmen
surround a large
and green-leafed tree
which they are cutting down
with old-fashioned axes.
The green-and-white entrails,
the clash-and-shudder of branches,
summon a victim of some savagery.
But worse is the cry. Centuries of life
are poured into that sound. And after
they are done, the tree felled,
that cry goes on, absorbed by the sea
and thrown back.
From Second Childhood, reproduced by kind permission of The Gallery Press