About the poet
Michael Longley (b.1939, Belfast) is a central figure in contemporary Irish poetry. A forceful...
A tommy drops his harmonica in No Man's Land.
My dad like old Anaximines breathes in and out
Through the holes and reeds and finds his melody.
Our souls are air. They hold us together. Listen.
A music-hall favourite lasts until the end of time.
My dad is playing it. His breath contains the world.
The wind is playing an orchestra of harmonicas.
from Collected Poems (Cape, 2006), © Michael Longley 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher
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