Poetry October 2008

Royal Harp

More

Made by Egan, in Dublin ca. 1804–1841

Big golden harps make me think of angels,
But here’s one, only as tall as my knee.

I kneel down to peer at its pedigree
Typed on a card. It doesn’t have pedals

But ivory levers along the column.
The gilt is fading, and the base looks frail.

Is this a lyre? Did Greek poets wail
Iambic verses as they plucked and strummed?

No, Thomas Moore once owned this instrument.
The harp that once through Tara’s halls, I hum

Like my father, who loved old Irish songs.
On a small harp like this you could invent

Your own world, the way a sonnet becomes
A frame of strings we yearn to play along.

Maura Stanton's new collection of poems is Immortal Sofa. She teaches writing at Indiana University.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Stop Telling Women to Smile'

An artist's campaign to end sexual harassment on the streets of NYC.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In