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A Conversation with Thomas Lynch

By Gregory Wolfe Interview

Thomas Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Skating with Heather Grace (Knopf), Grimalkin & Other Poems (Jonathan Cape), and Still Life in Milford (Jonathan Cape and W.W. Norton). His essay collection The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (Norton) won the Heartland Prize for nonfiction and the American Book Award, was…

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Recompense His Paraclete

By Thomas Lynch Poetry

His paraclete was a piebald donkey bequeathed him by a kindly parish priest whose sins he supped away one Whitsunday some months in advance of your man’s demise. “Never a shortage of asses, Argyle. God knows we’ve all got one of them at least.” Which seemed the case on closer scrutiny. Argyle named the wee…

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Argyle among the Moveen Lads

By Thomas Lynch Poetry

The Moveen lads were opening a grave in Moyarta, for Porrig O’Loinsigh, got dead in his cow cabin in between two Friesians, their udders bursting, his face gone blue. “As good a way to go as any, faith,” said Canon McMahon the parish priest. “Sure, wasn’t our savior born in such a place?” Unmoved by…

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He Weeps among the Clare Antiquities

By Thomas Lynch Poetry

At Poulnabrone Dolmen Argyle poured his soul’s ache into the hole of sorrows, huddling under the ancient capstone against the cold and crueler elements. Stone portal, stone cairn, stone everywhere— the rocky desert of the Burren bore a semblance to his own hard-weathered heart made barren by years of cast aspersions, pox, maledictions, cursed loneliness…

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His Purgations  

By Thomas Lynch Poetry

Argyle shat himself and, truth be told, but for the mess of it, the purging was no bad thing for the body corporal. Would that the soul were so thoroughly cleansed, by squatting and grunting supplications. Would that purgatories and damnations could be so quickly doused and recompensed, null and voided in the name of…

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