Leeanne Quinn

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the poet

Leeanne Quinn's poems have been widely anthologised, appearing in The Forward Book of Poetry 2013, Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, Before You, was published by Dedalus Press and highly commended in the Forward Prize for Poetry 2013. Her second collection, Some Lives, was also published by Dedalus Press, and was noted as a 2020 Book of the Year by The Irish Times and The Irish Independent. Originally from Ireland, Leanne now lives in Munich, Germany.

the poems

Interference

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            Try not to listen, avoid admission.

            Electrical currents emit perceptible sounds.

            Don’t power down appliances, let sound carry.


            Try not to think in terms of the body, the racket

            of the blood is not your concern. Learn the habit

            of distraction, above all don’t personify,


            don’t permit, this is not a human voice.

            Electrical currents do emit perceptible sounds.

            The trick is not to listen.


            Avoid admission. The racket of the blood

            is not your concern. Don’t power down.

            Learn the habit of distraction.


            Don’t think in terms of the body. Electrical

            currents do emit. The racket of the blood.

            Above all, try not to listen.


            Don’t personify, learn the habit.

            Let them carry perceptible sounds.

            This is not a human voice.

Accidents

(An excerpt from a poem of the same title)

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            Winter has culled the city, edging

            all colour out. Salt covers ice, stark

            and stubborn, on the pavements below.


            You walk with your thoughts elsewhere, think

            of the different worlds you have known.

            There is little here to love—this is a place


            where loneliness grows, where memories

            wake you like a gun going off in the night

            —a night that takes care of what you have done


            or not done, of who you have loved

            or not loved, of those you have saved,

            or forgotten. You walk the winter streets,


            hoping to catch the last of the light,

            as it fades where the snow falls.

On a Flat Earth

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            What colour is the sky? Why does a ship’s hull disappear

            before the mast? What is the true distance of the Sun

            from the Earth? Explain the cause of tides.

            What is the dip sector? What causes the Sun to rise?

            Explain lunar and solar eclipses. Account for daylight.

            Explain winter and summer. Account for loss

            of time when sailing. Explain the deflection

            of falling bodies. Elaborate on experiment three.

            Account for the moon’s phases. Discuss the planet

            Neptune. Elaborate on experiment six.

            Explain the stages of the Earth. Give Earth’s true position

            in the Universe. Account for formation.

            Account for destruction by fire.

Publishing credits

Interference / On a Flat Earth: Some Lives (Dedalus Press)

Excerpt from Accidents: Before You (Dedalus Press)