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SECOND PERSON SINGULAR

David Gilmour records a setting of the famous sonnet
– the one about comparing thee – afloat upon a river.
It starts with an octave leap, then down a semitone-and-tone:
eight and six; octave, sestet – clever, but not Shakespeare.
The tune is like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but slightly jumbled
and with an insistent shift to the relative minor, though not as often
as I remember when I play it back inside my head.
There’s no guitar and the reverb is excessive, but I listen
obsessively all day; at the end of the day, I don’t remember
the middle of the sonnet or the melody in order.
And thee is nondescript and impersonal and intimate,
and language is transcendent only up to a given point.
An ageing rocker is singing on a boat upon a river
and thou art gone as unused grammar in the mouths of lovers.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is the author of Pisanki (The Emma Press, 2017). Her work has been published in The Tangerine and is forthcoming in Poetry Ireland Review. In 2019, she was shortlisted for the Mairtín Crawford Award for Poetry and highly commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. She is currently an IRC postdoctoral research fellow at University College Dublin.

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