Alpha sites for women poets, How Words Play, Women Writers

“Credo” by Eithne Strong

I feel witness
to unchangingness
as well as to change.

If I incline to
leave unmirrored
political moil, it is because

the human composition,
person to private person,
is my sphere, my particular

theme. In brief:
the things of state-
bland blue suit smile,

smooth shirt doubledo
(we beg true blue but
have them shot by dark)

Lobbying;
feather-nesting; high inflate
of rigmarole; vigilant spite

that splits the nose
to spoil the party face-
all these things I have to see

as but reflections
in macro of doings round
the micro centre. As people

pattern in private
so, unchangingly, will they
project in their public scale.

The central attitude
is inexorable; there is no
escape; life demands encounter

with figures like
fathers, brothers, lovers,
rivals, mistresses, mothers, wives.

Inevitably, national
and international are but larger
shapes of interpersonal procedures:

appetites and checks
that flux around the swallowing
demand of predatory devouring ‘Me’

large happenings
in the state wear secondary
coverings. My bent is primary.

“Credo” by Eithne Strong is from ‘Sarah in Passing’ (The Dolmen Press,
1974)