The poems in The Blind Stitch interweave family, marriage, love, and friendship into a larger world of public life. Set in Greg Delanty’s native Ireland, in America, and in India, the book is sewn together with two main conceits and arranged thematically in the form of a palindrome. One of the conceits is that of the leper, which concerns personal and public suffering and complicity; the other is that of needlework, the threads that run through our public and private lives, seen and unseen, stitching us all together.
This is a day I’d love to sconce you in the black
of a dressed-to-kill, one-day monkey suit
instead of the dressed-to-mourn shades of black
we wear the odd occasion we now get to meet
at the muted family get-together of a funeral.
But there’ll be naught low-key about this day of days; you chucking tarry-boy ways;
ducking the usual ball-and-chain crack, twigging it ain’t a leaba of roses, but that you
would be out of your tree
to let Doris, your jag, your gauzer, your lasher,
slip by. Joe, I’d give anything to see
you both cut a scatter up the aisle and you, the masher, king of ballhoppers, confetti-
showered in a benevolence of slagging, finally getting your comeuppance.
Selection from “A Cork Prothalamium” published in The Blind Stitch by Greg Delanty. Copyright © 2002 by Greg Delanty. All rights reserved.
GREG DELANTY was born in Cork City, Ireland, and maintains dual citizenship in Ireland and the United States, where he now lives. He is the author of The Ship of Birth and The Blind Stitch, among many other books, and he has received numerous awards for his poetry, including a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship
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