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.
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.
(An excerpt from a poem of the same title)
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
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.
Interference / On a Flat Earth: Some Lives (Dedalus Press)
Excerpt from Accidents: Before You (Dedalus Press)