The Saturday Poem: Ledwidge

A poem by Michael Longley

Irish poet and soldier Francis Ledwidge (1891 - 1917). He served as a lance-corporal on the Flanders front with the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Irish poet and soldier Francis Ledwidge (1891 - 1917). He served as a lance-corporal on the Flanders front with the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

I can imagine his last sup of tea,
Milky and sweet, elbow on knee, body
Parts, his fingers caressing the mess-tin,
His steamy moustache whispering a girl’s name.

Michael Longley’s latest collection is Angel Hill (Cape). Today’s poem is
from A Bittern Cry, published by The Francis Ledwidge Museum,
Poetry Ireland Éigse Éireann & Meath County Council on July 31st, 2017,
to commemorate the centenary of Francis Ledwidge’s death.