All posts filed under: International Women’s Day , Poetry

Poetry for International Women’s Day 2015

Role reversal by Nessa O’Mahony   after Eavan Boland   There will come a time, mother, when the transformed spring opens up and the charioteer holds out a hand; he might have my father’s face, might not; his gestures might be gentle or rough as he eases you into a space made ready and shows you the pomegranate. And you will take the seed and eat, willingly perhaps, not caring that every bargain has its cost, or will your hand be stayed by the sun’s ray on your face? I will not have time to catch up, to forestall the nine long days, the nine long nights of wandering. And I’ll have no deal to strike; no backward glance, no waiting for the seasons to turn back to me.   © Nessa O’Mahony from Her Father’s Daughter (Salmon Poetry)   Nessa O’Mahony was born in Dublin and lives in Rathfarnham where she works as a freelance teacher and writer. She won the National Women’s Poetry Competition in 1997 and was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh …

International Women’s Day 2013, poems for Malala Yousafzai

Poem for Malala To Malala Yousafzai. We see it all. All of it. The red-stain, the shame. We do not feel the skull-shatter-impact, the moveable plate – the tube, the tubes. The blood-bags. The bags of blood, the urine. Your eye, the eye-blood that occludes your vision. Red filters down, lowering them to the ground. Our hackles are raised. Father – Mother Daughter – Son Sister – Brother Niece – Child Child child child child child. Somethings are veiled. It is necessary to veil what is sometimes a wound, to cover to dignify to protect. A green veil. A beaded veil, the tip of an eyebrow raises it – Disturbs it, for the breath of. I would sew the sequins myself, make good the golden threads. If you must veil, let it crown you, let it crown your head, as laurels, green, on your head. . For Malala is © C. Murray, published along with 200 poems protesting the shooting of 14 year old Malala Yousafzai. Time to say No ! is published by Pen Club Austria. …

The Mermaid in the Hospital by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

The Mermaid in the Hospital   She awoke to find her fishtail clean gone but in the bed with her were two long, cold thingammies. You’d have thought they were tangles of kelp or collops of ham.   ‘They’re no doubt taking the piss, it being New Year’s Eve. Half the staff legless with drink and the other half playing pranks. Still, this is taking it a bit far.’ And with that she hurled the two thingammies out of the room.   But here’s the thing she still doesn’t get — why she tumbled out after them arse-over-tip . . . How she was connected to those two thingammies and how they were connected to her.   It was the sister who gave her the wink and let her know what was what. ‘You have one leg attached to you there and another one underneath that. One leg, two legs . . . A-one and a-two . . .   Now you have to learn what they can do.’   In the long months that …

Two Poems by Ingeborg Bachmann for International Women’s Day 2011.

In the Storm of Roses, by Ingeborg Bachmann. “Wherever we turn in the storm of roses, the night is lit up by thorns, and the thunder of leaves, once so quiet within the bushes, rumbling at our heels.” The Broken Heart by Ingeborg Bachmann “News o’ grief had overteaken Dark-eyed Fanny, now vorseaken; There she zot, wi’ breast a-heaven, While vrom zide to zide, wi’ grieven, Vell her head, wi’ tears a-creepen Down her cheaks, in bitter weepen. There wer still the ribbon-bow She tied avore her hour ov woe, An’ there wer still the hans that tied it Hangen white, Or wringen tight, In ceare that drowned all ceare bezide it. When a man, wi’ heartless slighten, Mid become a maiden’s blighten, He mid cearelessly vorseake her, But must answer to her Meaker; He mid slight, wi’ selfish blindness, All her deeds o’ loven-kindness, God wull waigh ’em wi’ the slighten That mid be her love’s requiten; He do look on each deceiver, He do know What weight o’ woe Do break the heart ov …

2010 International Women’s Day: A poem by EBB.

Pain in Pleasure A thought lay like a flower upon mine heart, And drew around it other thoughts like bees For multitude and thirst of sweetnesses; Whereat rejoicing, I desired the art Of the Greek whistler, who to wharf and mart Could lure those insect swarms from orange-trees That I might hive with me such thoughts and please My soul so, always. foolish counterpart Of a weak man’s vain wishes! While I spoke, The thought I called a flower grew nettle-rough The thoughts, called bees, stung me to festering: Oh, entertain (cried Reason as she woke) Your best and gladdest thoughts but long enough, And they will all prove sad enough to sting! This from a set of Photocopied pages of EBB, incl. The Sonnets from the Portuguese.  Simone Weil, whose centenary occurred in 2009.