s
s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE

MLC

 

 

 

 

 

ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES

 

Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney

 

 

Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

Munster Literature Centre

Create your badge

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Council

 

 

Cork City Council

 

 

Foras na Gaeilge

 

 

Cork County Council

   

 

 

SINÉAD MORRISSEY

 

 

Sinéad Morrissey PhotoSinéad Morrissey was born in Co. Armagh in 1972 and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of four poetry collections, all published by Carcanet: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2002), The State of the Prisons (2005) and Through the Square Window (2009). Her awards include the Patrick Kavanagh Award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award, and the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize. She has also been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, the Irish Times Poetry Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Commonwealth Literature Prize. In 2007 she received a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Through the Square Window took first place in the UK National Poetry Competition the same year. She is lecturer in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast.  


 

 

_____

 

 

Fur

Yard Poem

 

 

_____

 

 

Fur

 

At 25 and 29 respectively, Hans Holbein’s

burly furred ambassadors haven’t got long to go:

the pox, the plague, the ague, a splinter

in the finger, a scratch at the back of the throat

or an infection set into the shoulder joint

might carry them off, in a matter of writhing

hours, at any instant—

 

Too obvious a touch

 

to set the white skull straight.     Better

to paint it as something other: driftwood

up-ended by magic from the right-hand side

of the tesserae carpet; to let it hang

like an improbable boomerang just under

the clutch of pipes, the lute with the broken

string, still casting a shadow …

 

For there is bewitchery in those brown beards yet—

in the (slightly) rakish tilt to the saucer hat

of the ambassador on the left. 

 

 

 

 

 

Yard Poem

for Paul Maddern

 

 

The rat on your salvaged pallet out the back

among pots, bricks, paperweights,

bees made of glass, a litter

of pink petals from the balsawood trellis,

the blown-open tongues of the honeysuckle —

is already a bed for flies and getting rained on.

It shifts its weight every fifteen minutes or so

so we know it’s still living.

 

 

With bodies as blue as a peacock’s waistcoat

or coal’s first concession to fire,

the flies shimmer at intervals

along the animal’s flank: so still

you’d think they’d died together.

Now neither sex, nor leaf-sweep, nor thunder

can cleave them. The eyes of the rat are sealed tight

as though pencilled shut with eyeliner.

 

 

More flies alight. It rains harder. I can’t look.

The rat draws its consciousness

back into its own scuttled bone-shack.

And the blue of the flies shines: jewelled,

unfazable; a mineral attack

on the walls of our final kingdom;

burglars, with a sense of grievance,

desecrating the Hall of Ishtar.

 

 

©2011 Sinéad Morrissey

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Sinead Morrissey at Poetry International Web--Ireland

Carcanet's page on Morrissey

Morrissey listing, including a critical essay, at Contemporary Writers

 

 

CONTENTS BACK TO TOP NEXT POEM

 

 

   
 
©2009 Southword Editions
and
Munster Literature Centre
   

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15