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About this poet

Vona Groarke is an Irish poet and the author of X (The Gallery Press, 2014), Spindrift (Wake Forest University Press, 2010), and Juniper Street (Wake Forest University Press, 2006). Her awards include the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize, the Hennessy Award, the Michael Hartnett Award, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award. She teaches at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester in England.

Purism

Vona Groarke

The wind orchestrates
its theme of loneliness
and the rain
has too much glitter in it, yes.

They are like words, the wrong ones,
insisting I listen to sense.
But I too am obstinate.

I have white walls,
white curtained windows.
What need have I
of the night's jet-black,
outlandish ornament?

What I am after
is silence
in proportion
to desire,

the way music plumbs
its surfaces
as straight words do
the air between them.

I begin to learn
the simple thing

burning through
to an impulse at once lovely
and given to love

that will not be refused.

From Spindrift by Vona Groarke. Copyright © 2011 by Vona Groarke. Reprinted with permission of Wake Forest University Press. All rights reserved.

From Spindrift by Vona Groarke. Copyright © 2011 by Vona Groarke. Reprinted with permission of Wake Forest University Press. All rights reserved.

Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke is an Irish poet and the author of X (The Gallery Press, 2014), Spindrift (Wake Forest University Press, 2010), and Juniper Street (Wake Forest University Press, 2006). Her awards include the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize, the Hennessy Award, the Michael Hartnett Award, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award. She teaches at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester in England.

by this poet

poem

In the window of the drawing-room
there is a rush of white as you pass
in which the figure of your husband is,
for a moment, framed. He is watching you.

His father will come, of course,
and, although you had not planned it,
his beard will offset your lace dress,
and