I read this poem several times. It’s deep, potent, and worth giving time to consider. Not easy to do in our culture of instant gratification. But so worth the effort.
John Montague (28 February 1929 − 10 December 2016) was born in Brooklyn to Irish Catholic parents who had been involved in Ireland’s post-1916 national strife and had immigrated to the United States. In New York the family struggled through the Great Depression, and in 1933 four-year-old Montague and his two brothers were sent back to Ireland. Montague was raised by two aunts on the family farm and educated at the seminary of Saint Patrick’s College in Armagh. He attended the University College Dublin, where he published his first poems.
He published a number of volumes of poetry, two collections of short stories and two volumes of memoir. He was one of the best known Irish contemporary poets. In 1998 he became the first occupant of the Ireland Chair of Poetry (essentially Ireland’s poet laureate). In 2010, he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur, France’s highest civil award.
Montague died at the age of 87 in Nice on 10 December 2016 after complications from a recent surgery.
(Sources: poetryfoundation dot org and Wikipedia)