“Song” by Eamon Grennan
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
At her Junior High School graduation, she sings alone in front of the lot of us-- her voice soprano, surprising, almost a woman's. It is the Our Father in French, the new language making her strange, out there, fully fledged and ready for anything. Sitting together -- her separated mother and father -- we can hear the racket of traffic shaking the main streets of Jersey City as she sings Deliver us from evil, and I wonder can she see me in the dark here, years from belief, on the edge of tears. It doesn't matter. She doesn't miss a beat, keeps in time, in tune, while into our common silence I whisper, Sing, love, sing your heart out!
From Relations: New and Selected Poems, 1998
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Copyright 1998 by Eamon Grennan.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press from Relations: New and Selected Poems. Copyright 1998 by Eamon Grennan. For further permissions information, contact Permissions Department, Graywolf Press, 2402 University Ave., Ste. 203, St Paul, MN 55114. http://www.graywolfpress.org
About the Poet
Eamon Grennan (1941- ) is the author of over ten poetry collections, including But the Body (Gallery Books, 2012). Grennan was born in Dublin and attended boarding school at a Cistercian monastery.
Learn more about Eamon Grennan at The Poetry Foundation.