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The Cause

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Unreel the human weave to molten stone
And still you’ll find the upraised arm of  Cain.

The hand that rigged the flesh in Abu Ghraib
Caressed another’s for the feel of  home.

Source: Poetry (May 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Cause

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  • Daniel Tobin was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish American parents. In his work as a poet, scholar, and editor, he frequently explores Irish ancestry and Irish American heritage. Praised for their formal control and narrative adeptness, Tobin’s poetry collections include Where the World Is Made (1999), Double Life (2004), The Narrows (2005), Second Things (2008), and Belated Heavens (2010), which won a Massachusetts Book Award in poetry. He is also the author of a collection of essays on Irish American poets and poetry, Awake in America (2011). Tobin’s other critical work includes Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney (1999).
     
    Tobin’s editing projects include the mammoth anthology The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (2007). His honors and awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He...

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