The 2River View 16.3 (Spring 2012)

Laurence O’Dwyer

On Precipitation

How is it that I never learned any of that language?
That old weakness whereby what we understand
is forgotten instantly,
and what remains hidden in a symbol
remembered always, never to precipitate.

People too are like language: never experiment!
The ones I weighed out into test tubes have disappeared long ago!

The ones I kept in bottles are in bottles still. Brighter now.
Their crystals harder, like a pharmacy that has been locked up
for eternity.

Stroh Violin

You would ring at one o’clock every Sunday,
or a little after. That stroh violin,
with its resonator and string.

Its sound is a guide for the perplexed –
patented in Germany, 1846.

Now it’s one or a little after. This is not sad.
I want to tell you, simply: I have fallen
in love again. Make no big plans.

Just play that stroh violin and be glad.

Laurence O’Dwyer won the 2005 Hennessy New Irish Writing Award for poetry. He holds a PhD in paradigms of memory formation from Trinity College Dublin and is a research fellow at Goethe University. contact