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Gerard Beirne

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Digging My Own Grave
by Gerard Beirne   

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Books by Gerard Beirne
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Publisher:  Dedalus Press ISBN-10:  187379046


Copyright:  Oct 12 1996

Barnes &
Gerard Beirne

Uinquely imaginative and strikingly original, rooting itself in the landscape - and the forces that shape landscape - to explore the inherent tensions between spirituality and physicality

The Resurrection of Man

For thirty-three years I have denied my breasts.
I have kept them under wraps.
I have refused to acknowledge their earthly presence
shielding them with my hands
when I should have been baring them to the outer world.

For thirty-three years I have beaten my chest.
I have fondly run my fingers through its hairs
counting out each wiry decade
when I ought to have been twisting the beads of my nipples.

For thirty-three years my lips have decried my nipples.
My tongue has abstained from licking their blessed buds.
My mouth has refused to suck on their salvation.

For thirty-three years my body has lapsed from its faith,
ignored the divinity of its pulpy flesh,
damned itself into a corporal purgatory.

For thirty-three years I have prodded my doubting fingers
into the holes above my ribcage.
I have probed irreverantly their inner sanctity
sensed nothing of their sacred swellings.

But now in my thirty-third year here on earth,
now on the eve of my persecution,
my breasts have finally risen from their tombs,
have cast away their shrouds
and revealed themselves to the multitudes.

Now on the advent of my destruction
my nipples have gracefully sprung erect,
piercing my two plump breasts
like hard nails in the tender palsms of outstretched hands.

Professional Reviews

A Brilliant first title
Digging My Own Grave is a brilliant title for a first book of poems. It
speaks of a wisdom beyond the author's years...Beirne's poems live up to the
promise of the title...Beirne has a feeling for language and the power of
language, a fine sense of where the poems ends, a rich imagination."
Poetry Ireland Review

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