The Badger by Martin Dyar

Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford, in County Mayo, Ireland. He earned an MA in English literature at NUI Galway and a PhD in English literature at Trinity College Dublin, where he wrote his thesis on Wallace Stevens. His debut collection of poems, Maiden Names (2012) was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Poetry Award. With the composer Ryan Molloy he has written a poetry song cycle for soprano, harp and flute, titled Buaine na Gaoithe, which had an Irish national tour in 2018.
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Go out, good son, traipse off across the hill,
in glowing hood, with lewd nocturnal eye.

Go out and slouch across the walls of dawn,
all aptitude and bluebell pride and tooth.

Go out, my son, and stave a whitethorn beast
by ancestral grin and doggedness in rain.

Defy, my son, the pasture, the imperial sheds;
with nettle mind, defy the piercing town.

And when by farming, son, the farms are lost,
and tangled night becomes a badger throne,

then restore, my fattened son, the digging way,
unlatch the earth, release your father’s bones.