Up Against It

By Eamon Grennan b. 1941 Eamon Grennan
It’s the way they cannot understand the window
they buzz and buzz against, the bees that take
a wrong turn at my door and end up thus
in a drift at first of almost idle curiosity,
cruising the room until they find themselves
smack up against it and they cannot fathom how
the air has hardened and the world they know
with their eyes keeps out of reach as, stuck there
with all they want just in front of them, they must
fling their bodies against the one unalterable law
of things—this fact of glass—and can only go on
making the sound that tethers their electric
fury to what’s impossible, feeling the sting in it.


Poem copyright ©2010 by Eamon Grennan from his most recent book of poems, Out of Sight: New & Selected Poems, Graywolf Press, 2010. Poem reprinted by permission of Eamon Grennan and the publisher.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Eamon Grennan b. 1941

POET’S REGION Ireland

 Eamon  Grennan

Biography

Born in Dublin, Eamon Grennan attended boarding school at a Cistercian monastery. He met Derek Mahon and Eavan Boland as an undergraduate at University College, Dublin, spent a year in Rome, and then came to the United States to earn his PhD at Harvard. He began writing poetry in earnest in 1977 and published his first collection, Wildly for Days, in 1983. He lives in the United States but returns frequently to western Ireland, . . .

Continue reading this biography

POET’S REGION Ireland

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.