‘Aisling’ by Adam Wyeth


Beautiful girl
with a broken harp
who plays on the side
of the street through wind
and rain, her open case catching
coins that flicker as leaves on a lake.
Her plaintive notes which float like pleas
then flee into a whooshing diaspora of rush-
hour traffic as she plinks and plucks more
hay-wire chords that shudder down the
roads and spines of passers-by who do
not know her out-of-tunes have
nothing to do with dexterity
but are due to her harp’s
disrepair. Yet she
continues to play
through wind
that blows
her song
and rain that collects in her case,
and, because of this, is beautiful.
(from The Art of Dying, Salmon Poetry 2016)
Adam Wyeth is an award-winning poet, playwright and essayist living in Dublin. His second poetry collection The Art of Dying was published with Salmon in November 2016 and was named as an Irish Times Book of the Year. In 2016 he was a selected poet for Poetry Ireland Review‘s Rising Generation.