Irish poet and playwright Paula Meehan’s poem “The Solace of Artemis” was first published in the Notre Dame Review in the fall of 2012. Technically, it’s a poem of the twenty-first century, but the issues surrounding this poem have been in the making for quite some time. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons — and troubles — that accompanies new climate change research is, in fact, the slow accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that haven’t even begun to register in our current climate. It’s the stockpile of oil and gas that we have yet to burn. This poem, then, is years in the making, and it’s a sad poem to boot. It’s all solace, as the title points out.
I see him loping towards me across the vast ice field to where I wait in the cave mouth