Francis Ledwidge Poems

Poems » francis ledwidge

Francis Ledwidge
Francis Ledwidge (19 August 1887 31 July 1917) was an Irish poet from Meath, sometimes known as the "poet of the blackbirds", killed in action during World War I. Ledwidge was born at Janeville Slane in Ireland, the eight of nine children, a large and poverty-stricken family. His parents, Patrick Ledwidge (the name of German origin, came to Meath with the Anglo-Normans) and wife Anne Lynch (1853-1926), believed in giving their children the best education they could afford, but when Francis was only five his father Patrick died prematurely, which forced his wife and the children out to work at an early age. Francis left the local national school aged thirteen, and while he continued to self-educate himself, he worked at what work he could find, as farm hand, road mender and supervisor of roads, as copper miner (sacked for organising a strike having been a trade union activist since 1906) and shop assistant. Appointed secretary of the Slane branch of the Meath Labour Union (1913-14) he had aspirations of permanent white-collar work.

hawk roosting
 
 
I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hoo... [read poem]
thistles
 
 
Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air... [read poem]
the thought fox
 
 
I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Besides the clock's lonel... [read poem]
lament for thomas macdonagh
 
 
He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the swe... [read poem]
lineage
 
 
In the beginning was Scream
Who begat Blood
Who begat Eye
Who begat Fear
Who beg... [read poem]
full moon and little frieda
 
 
A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket --

And you listening... [read poem]
behind the closed eye
 
 
I walk the old frequented ways
That wind around the tangled braes,
I live again the sun... [read poem]
studies at delhi, 1876
 
 
Here as I sit by the Jumna bank,
Watching the flow of the sacred stream,
Pass me the legio... [read poem]
wind
 
 
This house has been far out at sea all night,
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming ... [read poem]
wodwo
 
 
What am I? Nosing here, turning leaves over
Following a faint stain on the air to the river's e... [read poem]
theology
 
 
"No, the serpent did not
Seduce Eve to the apple.
All that's simply
Corruption of the... [read poem]
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