All posts filed under: Poets

‘Moving Like Anemones’ and other poems by Lorna Shaugnessy

Crystal   The blower adds breath to heat, turns and blows within the mould until he finds precise form. Molten glass vibrates. It takes ten years to learn how deep you can cut before the glass shatters, how deep you have to go to catch the light. Mistakes pile up waiting for the furnace, a second chance, instability anchored by the weight of lead.   Río Tinto   We cannot enter the Roman graveyard. The gates are padlocked and chained so we press our faces to the wire, squint at the skewed angles of mossed stones, the departed minions of enterprise and empire. Behind us the mines, where pulleys and sidings punctuate strata of centuries-old endeavour. Rock and mineral are bared in russets and ochres too raw for peopled places. Their cratered wounds fill with water so deep you could drown there. Today is Sunday. In the high, hushed absence of trucks to rumble up the hill we try to hear beneath the wind, listen for the sound of stone, touch the injured past, its …

‘Snowbird’ and other poems by Jessamine O’Connor

Snowbird after Mary Noonan’s house   If I had known, I would have said goodbye years before.   Not at the artificial grass graveside or the airtight TV room where you all sat like stuffed animals, but at your table, over the paintbrushes,   or on the coral strand, between sandwiches, between swims, where I wallowed in the shallows and admired your distant bobbing head trawling the horizon,   long before the vaporous woman seeped into you, every year swelling, squeezing more and more out, until there was only an occasional glint, or a short sharp smile.   There, up the powdery path, against your redbrick wall, when you unclipped and lifted me from your daughter’s bike and held me high over your face, naming me Snowbird.   It should have been then. If I had known, it would have been then.   To The Oxford University Press   regarding the updated Junior Dictionary   You’ve taken the world around us away, surrendered it all for a virtual world.   A dictionary teaching children that …

‘Cry Oceans’ by Mary Cecil

Cry Oceans   Cry oceans and weep the seas Where waves flow over The endless motions of life The swimming perfection that flees   The Armageddon of destruction By all means possible The mechanisation of death The beginning of the end   For whales and tuna to consume The mercury to garnish The insatiable greed to fill The merciless plunderers   To crush and pulp for cattle The wanton waste of the world That flies in the face of God And wilts in the sun   The lonely song of the whale That echoes in silent reproach The albatross that soars Over oceans of emptiness   The flowering coral that dies Blooming in acid The hymn of death Beneath blue heaven   © Mary Cecil, Rathlin Island   ‘Written in protest to the mechanisation of fishing with super trawlers‘ Mary Cecil is the mother of large family and Grandmother to eleven. The widow of Rathlin Island’s famous campaigner, diver, author (Harsh winds of Rathlin) Thomas Cecil. Lover of Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island. Mary …

‘Delta’ and other poems by Stephanie Conn

Wie is de vrouw on de overkant?   Who is the woman on the other side? It was the only phrase that stuck in months of pre-trip conversation class.   As I struggled with the syntax, it became clear you were a natural, spending hours in the lab perfecting your grasp.   You couldn’t wait to track down a local to ask how to say I love you? Ik hou van you, you said, content with your acquisition.   You led me in the appropriate response, encouraged me to practise daily. Ik hou ook van you; all it took to keep you happy.   The towns we visited belonged to you, their guttural place names all tongue and throat; Groningen, Maastricht, Utrecht.   You strode through their stone streets listing the features of gothic churches, as I fumbled with a bi-lingual map.   (first published in the Yellow Nib)   Delta   The dilapidated hut at the sand’s edge is a trick of the light, and shadows lift to reveal a delicate arrangement of driftwood, …

Looking at how the media presented the Oxford Professor of Poetry Election for VIDA !

There is an interest for women poets in how media presents electoral processes like the recent Oxford Professor of Poetry appointment. Just as there is an interest in how media views poetry generally. “I would like to see something different at the next election. I would like to see the media discussing women poets and the benefits that they can bring to the chair, and how their role can influence emerging women poets. I feel that this can be achieved by speaking to women candidates with intelligence and not utilising them as filler material in your ossified view of what poetry is.” (VIDA)   I started Poethead as a platform that could create visibility for women poets and their translators. Poetry is primarily a process of creation, however, media often engages with poetry at the point where it has become a product, often within the published book. This convergence of media and poetry was always going to be problematic. That a lifetime of creative effort goes into a finished book or books is not recognised by …