Poem of the day: Kerry Hardie’s “Ship of Death”

After an unexpected Easter Monday hiatus, we have returned with another poem for National Poetry Month. We hope you enjoy “Ship of Death” by Kerry Hardie from The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry




for my mother
Watching you, for the first time,
turn to prepare your boat, my mother;
making it clear you have other business now—
the business of your future—
I was washed-through with anger.

It was a first survey,
an eye thrown
over sails, oars, timbers,
as many a time I’d seen that practised eye
scan a laden table.

How can you plan going off like this
when we stand at last, close enough, if the wind is right,
to hear what the other is saying?
I never thought you’d do this, turning away,
mid-sentence, your hand testing a rope,

your ear tuned
to the small thunder of the curling wave
on the edge of the great-night sea,
neither regretful nor afraid—
anxious only for the tide.

About wfupress

Wake Forest University Press was founded in 1976 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Exclusively publishing Irish poetry, we are a small academic press and the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America. We still reside in Winston-Salem as a part of Wake Forest University, and continue to publish culturally-rich literature.
This entry was posted in Arts and Culture, Ireland, Irish Poetry, Irish Women's Poetry, Our Poets, Women's Anthology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Poem of the day: Kerry Hardie’s “Ship of Death”

  1. So pleased to read this here. I love Kerry Hardie’s writing. She is emotionally honest, cuts to the quick, and always teaches me to slow down, read, and let it in.

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