Tuesday, December 06, 2005


by Liam Aungier

A man of few words and little grace,
Peter Carey, bachelor, pensioner,
village farrier. As a child
I'd see him SUnday mornings
awkward in an ill-fitting suit
hobbling home from early Mass.
And when I was eight or nine he died.

So, imagine my surprise to meet him now,
this afternoon in the county library,
to find him translated
between the covers of the Iliad
conversing with the Immortals:
deity of the dragging footsteps,
old artificer, fire-god,

In this poem, a man recounts his childhood of knowing some old man. In the second stanza there is a meeting between the two, but it does not seem to be real. It is almost as is his character has reincarnated through the pages of a mythological book. The most bold part of this poem is the sudden change in the middle of the poem. The man dies and the poem is enjambed at that moment, but an unexpected twist suddenly comes about. The man sees the dead man way later at a random place as a library. The change brings a very eerie mood to the poem and draws the reader in to see how exactly the man was able to come back. Some questions that can be asked are what form exactly did the man return? Was he a character in the book, or did he literally sit in the library and read the Iliad or what? The tension of the speaker and his recount truly do help the poem however in drawing the reader in through this unexpected twist.


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