Berfrois

Walk Song

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by Justin Quinn

My bag was light,
so I put stones
in it to right
my crooked bones.

The harnessed load
buckled me down,
nose to the road
that led from town –

as though each building,
wall and tree
were now tilting
back against me.

But I was damned
if I’d stop now.
So here I am,
grey hair, wet brow,

through meadows singing
and yet to crack,
a city swinging
from off my back.


About the Author:

Justin Quinn is an Irish poet and critic. He has published six poetry collections: The ‘O’o’a’a’ Bird (1995), Privacy (1999), Fuselage (2002), Waves & Trees (2006), The Months (2009) and Close Quarters (2011). The ‘O’o’a’a’ Bird was nominated for the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. He was a founding editor of the poetry journal Metre and has published two critical studies, Gathered Beneath the Storm: Wallace Stevens, Nature and Community, and American Errancy: Empire, Sublimity and Modern Poetry. He has also translated extensively from Czech, in particular the work of Petr Borkovec, and written non-fiction prose on life in the Czech Republic for the Dublin Review.