The Elm Of The Aeneid and Spadework by Peter O’ Neill

The Elm of the Aeneid

 
After Virgil , Lines 282-295, Book VI
 
 
In the vast shadows of the Elm,
Under her ancient boughs where,
According to men dreams are allied to nightmare,
Intricately woven into every arrow-headed leaf,
There monstrous shapes and forms
Become crafted by the elements,
As beheld through the Light Trees,
Where everyone fashions for themselves
The proper demons which people their most
Specific exactitude; Just as Aeneas saw,
Him-self, those heady Chimera and which
He pursued with wrought steel,
On through the torturous waters of the
Tarterean Archeron, where the roads led.
 
This translation of The Elm of the Aeneid, After Virgil , Lines 282-295, Book VI is © Peter O’Neill

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Spadework

 
 In memoriam
 
Out in the allotment, thinking and digging,
And considering Heaney’s analogy
Of the opened field – Immense acreage
Of sovereignty to be found there
 
Emanating beneath the wood of his words,
Their clayey, and powderish substance.
And, pausing to take a breath, before I too
Rake up the skeletal remains of Baudelaire.
 
Field then as page, words as soil or clay;
Tossing the stones and weeds from the mind,
Into Hell’s ditch! The Norsemen and
  
Bog bodies, as with the spectral corpse of Croppies,
Figuring there, as in any archaeological site,
All with neurological accordance of mind.
 
Spadework, in Memoriam is © Peter O’Neill

elm of aeneidPeter O’ Neill’s debut collection Antiope  was published by Stonesthrow Poetry early this year, “certainly a voice to be reckoned with.” Wrote Dr Brigitte Le Juez (DCU). He has had poems published in The Galway Review, A New Ulster (5,8,12), The Scum Gentry, Abridged (29) New Town How (1) Danse Macabre Online Review (66, 70) The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology (8) among others. He has an honours degree in philosophy, just completed a Masters in Comparative Literature and he has just presented his first paper on Heraclitus in the works of Samuel Beckett at the annual Beckett and the ‘State’ of Ireland Conference at UCD.

25th Ezra Pound International Conference

Sheets_of_toilet_paper_on_which_Pound_started_The_Pisan_Cantos“The conference’s main host will be Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s oldest university institution, founded in 1592 and located in the city centre. Our second host and other conference site on Thursday, July 11, will be Mater Dei Institute, the college close to what was Leopold Bloom’s residence at 7 Eccles Street.
 
The 2013 EPIC will open at Trinity College Dublin on 10 July with a Welcoming Address by the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. Individual plenary talks by distinguished scholars throughout the week will be on such topics as Pound and Irish Poetry, Pound and other writers (Beckett, Coleridge, Joyce, and Yeats), The Cantos Project, New Translations of Pound’s poetry into German and Italian, the Drafts & Fragments Notebooks, and Doing Justice to Pound. There will also be four days of paper sessions and discussions on a wide range of topics related to Pound’s works, life, and influence.”

 

2011 poetry news, and online information for poets.

Given that the Irish Times Books of the Year did not make mention of poetry books for 2011, I thought to add some links to Irish poetry  presses and imprints for those readers of poetry who are not catered for in the list-system. I have to say that I do not think of such ephemera as dates when I approach a book of poetry and my reading included some 2010 volumes (and earlier).  The beauty of poetry is that it is timeless and  poetry books are always relevant. I am going to add links for some poetry publishers, and then some good online resources for readers and writers of poetry. I wonder how many of the books at link will survive the test of time ? (or even taste,  ” So good, so funny, so real, so very, very sad” , is what amounts to review in the article).

Irish presses and poetry journals.

I can add to this list Poetry Ireland , The SHOp Magazine , Moth (Little Editions) , Post (DCU) , Crannóg , Burning Bush , The Munster Literature Centre ( and SouthWord), The Western Writers Centre, Over the Edge, Tigh Filí , and The Irish Writer’s Centre . Online Poetry concerns include Writing.ie , Emerging Writer , Wurm in Apfel , Nuala Ní Chonchúir, and all of the above mentioned presses that use online as a source of income and connection for writers.

2011 bits and pieces.

I reviewed a few books this year and I have blogged these over the past twelve months, I liked Jeet Thayil‘s edition of Contemporary Indian Poetry and told him too, The moth magazine ‘Little Editions’  , Susan Lindsay’s ‘Whispering the Secrets, John Walsh’s ‘Chopping Wood with T.S Eliot, Human Chain by Seamus Heaney. I intend to get Memorial, by Alice Oswald and I  will probably blog that too. AND this year 2011, I published some almost lost Doris Lessing Poems Here , in all a wonderful poetic year for me as a reader and writer.

This year saw the cutting of funds to Poetry Now ! and barely a whisper of protest in the media, and there was some controversy at the T.S Eliot Prize . My  favourite story of the year had to be the restoration of  Sue Hubbard’s ‘Eurydice’.  The fourth annual Turn at Tara occurred, although some newspapers would rather not look at the wound created by rampant planning unbalanced by a single heritage and conservation bill in over a decade!  Poetry happens in the most wonderful places , although these places are generally  not full of  literary liggers. Two wonderful editors had a spat, although Irish media coverage of same was void ,empty. I really do wonder if poetry loses importance due to the glitter and tinsel of PR management, and souped-up interest in disposable tales (the type that makes it to the charity-shops within  three-four week periods of publication and sells for 1-2 Euros ?).

As is usual , I have to say that good poetry discussion occurs at  Jacket2, UBUWEB, The Poetry Foundation , Salt , Anon. Pierre Joris’  Nomadics is an interesting site for those interested in translation and outsider poetics.

Other newspapers have published poetry lists for 2011.

‘Yes, Minister’ , a poem by John Walsh

While brushing my teeth
I stop to think of the Minister’s words
and I feel how lucky we are indeed
to have a Green Minister like him to tell us
not to be wasting water running it
while brushing our teeth.

And I wonder if he’s noticed
that it’s been pissing the rain for weeks
and the eco-warriors are up to their eyes in muck
in their flooded dugouts on the Hill of Tara.

But he says he is not in a position to go there
for he is afraid of getting his hands dirty
and he’ll have to go washing them all over again,
wasting everyone’s time and energy,
including his own.

Seamus Heaney thinks it’s a disgrace,
but sure nobody listens to him.

Thanks to John Walsh. This poem is from Chopping Wood with T.S Eliot, Publ. Salmon Poetry 2010.

Paul Muldoon and the Art of Poetry, No.87, Paris Review

The Griffin Poetry Prize has been making excellent use of Social media, including Twitter to publicise this year’s prize list and as little of note happens in the Irish Sunday papers, I thought to add in by way of my blog their link to the Paris Review interview with Paul Muldoon . Poetry readers familiar with this site will know that it is  a rare occurrence for me to link to the Paris Review interviews , but that I think they are always worthwhile.

Paul Muldoon came to Tara in 2008 to celebrate our unique heritage, along with Susan Mc Keown and Seamus Heaney , this was a protest, a lament and an attempt to support those campaigners who had fought through Ireland’s courts and the EU about radical fast-track planning. One Irish newspaper  of note reported the Turn at Tara as ‘Heaney celebrates Heritage Week’ !  One expects this type of bilge as a matter of course in an undifferentiated mass-media that distrusts ideas. But I digress -

Related Links

I said it once this week but it bears repeating , radical censorship is unnecessary in Ireland, a media group-think can just marginalise to sustain intellectual poverty, and what better way than to push trash-culture, ego-driven self publicity and other ephemera of failure ??

Heaney, Mc Keown and Muldoon : Singers at Tara