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: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





Munster Literature Centre

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Arts Council



Cork City Council



Foras na Gaeilge



Cork County Council








Ted Deppe

Ted Deppe is the author of four books of poems, most recently Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon) and Orpheus on the Red Line (Tupelo). He lives in Connemara and directs writing residencies in Ireland for the Stonecoast MFA programme in Maine.










An Art Critic and the Colour Yellow



She waits for the museum guard to turn away, readying herself to

touch the young woman


who is stepping into a tub, weight on the foot already in the bath

while her back leg tightens


to follow. Viewed from behind, the bather is present, seen fully,

alive in a way the aging art critic


fears she will never be again. Impossible man, Degas! Irascible

          as her department head


who ridiculed her latest book. And yet, once it was given to Degas

to draw well. 


That’s what he had inscribed on his gravestone: He liked

very much to draw


Now someone’s asked the guard a question, the critic closes her eyes

          and for a few seconds


she runs her spotted hand across the oils of a masterpiece

the way the elderly Degas


interrogated the paintings of Ingres. Too blind to work,

he’d daily made his way through Paris


to touch the work of his teacher. She imagines his fingers,

almost numb, searching


for the nub where paint quickens, the farewell and relearning

of all we aspire to—


The disciple said he felt the rising sweep of a color

he could no longer see but


knew must be Indian yellow—he felt its flame,

so the critic


tries now to feel the yellow Degas used. Tries,

but fails.


But how did she think it would feel? Degas, after touching

the master’s paintings,


said, What a horrible thing yellow is!—sulfurous blaze

that leads to the end of things,


to the heart of things, brief flare and snuff his fingers

gratefully suffered. Hell, she thinks,


then let me feel the horror of it, and without checking the guard,

returns her palm to the bather’s back,


closes her eyes once more, and feels instead herself young again—

slender, risen on a hot afternoon


in the south of France from the bed of her lover,

one foot entering cool water. 


©2013 Ted Deppe



Author Links


Theodore Deppe on Poetry Foundation webiste

Purchase Cape Clear from Salmon Poetry

Audio of poems by Deppe at Poetry Speaks







©2009 Southword Editions
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