Mirror in February is Thomas Kinsella’s second entry in Ireland’s 100 favourite poems.
The poem is about Kinsella shaving and as he looks in the mirror he reflects on his life as he begins to get older.
Mirror in February
The day dawns with scent of must and rain,
Of opened soil, dark trees, dry bedroom air.
Under the fading lamp, half dressed – my brain
Idling on some compulsive fantasy-
I towel my shaven jaw and stop, and stare,
Riveted by a dark exhausted eye,
A dry downturning mouth.
It seems again that it is time to learn,
To which, for the time being, I return.
In this untiring, crumbling place of growth
Now plainly in the mirror of my soul
I read that I have looked my last on youth
And little more; for they are not made whole
That reach the age of Christ.
Below my window the awakening trees,
Hacked clean for better bearing, stand defaced
Suffering their brute necessities,
And how should the flesh not quail that span for span
Is mutilated more? In slow distaste
I fold my towel with what grace I can,
Not young and not renewable, but man.
All images copyright Ireland Calling
Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship
Did you know?Why does Ireland have such a high percentage of red-haired people compared to the rest of the Western world? Is it from the Celts or could the Vikings be responsible? Find out more.
Have you heard about…An Irish bride performed beautiful rendition of the song ‘The Prayer’ at her wedding – and returned from her honeymoon to find that the video had gone viral. Find out more.
What about this…‘The most dangerous woman in America’ – ‘Mother Jones’ was an Irish emigrant who fought for worker’s rights, believing that working men should be able to earn enough money from a hard day’s work to provide for their families. Her efforts landed her in court, where the prosecution labelled her the ‘most dangerous woman in America’. Find out more.