A Saturday Woman Poet , Vona Groarke.

Indoors

by Vona Groarke.

It breaks apart as water will not do
when I pull ,  hard, away from me,
the corners bunched in my two hands
to steer a true and regulated course.

I plunge the needle through and through,
dipping, tacking, coming up again.
The ripple of thread that follows pins,
out of its depth , a shallow hem.

I smooth the waves and calm the folds.
Then, to ensure an even flow,
I cast a line which runs from hook to hook
and pulls the net in overlapping pleats.

Which brings me to the point where I am
hanging a lake, by one shore, in my room,
to swell and billow between the light
and opaque , unruffled dark.

I step in. The room closes round me
and scarcely puckers when I move my limbs.
I step out. The path is darkened where I walk,
my shadow steaming off in all this sun. 
from :  The New Irish Poets , Edited by Selina Guinness . Bloodaxe Books 2004

Eithne Strong’s ‘Sarah in Passing’.

Sofonisba Image 1554

This wee poem (one of 17 from Eithne Strong’s book, Sarah in Passingis one of my favourites, thus I am publishing it today in my Book of Days. The book is published via Dolmen Press 1974, I found it on a book stall in George’s Street Arcade some few years ago; and along with Mark My Words,by Eilís Ní Dhuibhne (Illustrated by Alice Maher), it’s one of my favourite poetic and illustrative collaborations:

Regeneration

“Let me out. I’m rising out of death’s skull.
Aha, old devil’s dower I have victoried.
I leave you in the morning: it deals
with every death and spring defeats the catafalque.

You see I must believe in resurrection.
This is it. Now. I was dead and am alive.
Hello eternity. I can die no more horrific
death than I have died. No hell beyond

the horrors of myself that murdered
every life; saw death in every pregnancy
of dog and nut and man. Found death
the ever death. Come bomb,come

my most killing hate, life lives outside
the blasting skull. Computer is not final.
I cannot give you proof of course,
I merely have arisen.”

Regeneration, from Sarah in Passing, by Eithne Strong, Dolmen Press 1974, illustrated by John Hodge.

The Hare Arch by Ní Dhuibhne

Anne Brontë

From the National Portrait Gallery : Via Wikimedia.

Its Monday and it’s cold in Dublin, am so glad I got a new all-weather but mostly Mountain-climbing Jacket on the Mayo Sojourn (Post-flu and dental recovery). Since I am unpacked and having done the school run where the little one was welcomed back with much happiness, I thought to publish some Bronte (Brunty) poems and whilst adoring Emily’s amazing poetry , I think Anne mostly neglected.

Poethead is about women writers , the whole idea of the blog was sited in the Penelopiad , the woman in exile and the community of women who are sometimes nodded to in serious writer’s chorus’, chorus-lines or indeed hymn sheets, though most of the time critique is poetry and weekend supplements tends to the male voice and academic fields.

The North Wind

“That wind is from the North: I know it well;
No other breeze could have so wild a swell.
Now deep and loud it thunders round my cell,
The faintly dies, and softly sighs,
And moans and murmurs mournfully.
I know it’s language: thus it speaks to me:

‘I have passed over thy own mountains dear,
Thy northern mountains, and they still are free;
still lonely, wild, majestic,bleak and drear,
And stern, and lovely , as they used to be

‘When thou a young enthusiast,
As wild and free as they,
O’er rocks and glens, and snowy heights,
Didst thou love to stray.

‘I’ve blown the pure, untrodden snows
in whirling eddies from their brows;
And I have howled in cavern’s wild,
Where thou, a joyous mountain-child,
didst dearly love to be.
The sweet world is not changed, but thou
art pining in a dungeon now,
Where thou must ever be.

‘No voice but mine can reach thy ear,
And heaven has kindly sent me here
to mourn and sigh with thee,
And tell thee of the cherished land
of thy nativity.’

Blow on wild wind; thy solemn voice,
However sad and drear,
is nothing to the gloomy silence
I have had to bear.

Hot tears are streaming from my eyes,
But these are better far
Than that dull, gnawing , tearless time,
The stupor of despair.

Confined and hopeless as I am,
Oh, speak of liberty!
Oh, tell me of my mountain home,
And I will welcome thee!

The edition the Poem was taken from is an Everyman: Everyman : Selected Poems, The Brontes, Ed, Juliet RV Barker, 1993 .

Margaret Atwood list.
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Julian of Norwich