All posts tagged: Freda Laughton

A Celebration of Irish Women Poets on Bloomsday 2017

“Canal Walk Home” by Gillian Hamill   What is it About the power of the water To heal hurts   Three lads sit on the boardwalk They hardly look like delicate sorts. And yet they gaze out Contemplate The rushing rippling mottles of the Undulating lake Can soothe souls.   Car lights are reflected in Striking streaks, always dappling Buzzy thrill of Modern pyrotechnics In the most basic of Science laws.   Edged by banking sycamore leaves I took one and put it in my pocket To describe it better. The smell of its earthy salt and bark Present. And the bare elegance Of stripped black branches Spearing themselves into the night air Soldered into the genesis Of life And yes they are Wild quiet.   A little further on There’s a piece of street art says Only the river runs free And maybe that’s the attraction Of this portal into liberty.   And then to gaze down the row Through Camden Street from Portobello The multi-potted chimney tops Sophisticated lego bricks Pricked by the …

“Just as the blackbird strikes up his clear note” by C. Murray

dead hearts, dead dreams, dead days of ecstasy, Can you not live again ? Nay, for me never dead.   (Constance Markievicz, Easter Week 1917) At each day’s dawn, they came to tell me they came to tell me that they would be shot.   I heard the cracking and I knew my birds had flown. Willie Pearse, a carver in stone, shot, his body melted into lime quickly.   I do not know if it was the birds, that chaos of gulls and crows that told me they killed James, but then the screeching stopped.   And that silence, that silence before the cracking violence and they came to tell me, and they came to tell me.   As a child I knew how, Beyond the lamp’s circuit, Lay the shadow of the Shadow of this darkness,   They did not come to see me off. I stood, and I waited for the order to be carried out. They came to whisper their deaths,   no one came for me. I waited, listening for …

Dear Freda Laughton, Your Poems are being discussed at Jacket2 Magazine

Dear Freda Laughton, Your Poems are being discussed at Jacket2 Magazine: Walt Hunter writes for Jacket2 on Dave Lordan’s interview with Emma Penney about the modern Irish woman poet Freda Laughton. Freda Laughton was born in Bristol in 1907 and moved to Co. Down after her marriage. She published one collection of poetry, A Transitory House, in 1945 but little else is known about her life and work. She may have lived in Dublin for sometime, as her poem The Welcome details the textures of Dublin City and its suburbs, and suggests she knows the city by heart. Her date of death is unknown.There are some Freda Laughton poems published on Poethead here.  The most interesting thing I read during a weekend of convalescence, under a March sun that seemed surprised at its own intensity, was this interview with Emma Penney on the website The Bogman’s Cannon about an Irish modernist poet, Freda Laughton. Although Laughton was born in 1907, I feature the interview and her poems here because critical genealogies of twentieth-century Irish poetry are …

The Myth and Memory Of Eavan Boland’s Latest Poems by J P O’Malley

I do not often recommend newspaper articles on Irish poetry, but I am making an exception in the case of The Examiner’s review of Eavan Boland’s latest book New and Selected Poems Eavan Boland (Carcanet). J P O’Malley offers an extensive review, some illuminating video links, and a preview of his upcoming interview with Boland at The Boogaloo (London) in this article. ‘The heroic narrative that the founding fathers of the State attempted to make a universal truth is also something that Boland’s poetry has challenged consistently. Lest we forget, the birth of the Irish nationalist myth was forged initially through poetry, which unapologetically glorified violence ‘ (Examiner) It was a similar situation in the visual arts where censorship was prevalent and the original blasphemy laws (we updated them again in 2010) were used to suppress arts, most notoriously the work of Charles Rouault. We can examine how publications were seized and often censored for crimes like obscenity. The fact that there existed before Boland an entire suppressed narrative, a body of literature by women poets, should not surprise us, although it continues to …

“Now I am a Tower of Darkness” and Other Poems by Freda Laughton

Now I am a Tower of Darkness   As a child I knew How, beyond the lamp’s circuit, Lay the shadow of the shadow Of this darkness,   Waiting with an arctic kiss In the well of the staircase, Ready to drape the bed with visions No eyelids can vanquish.   Now I am a tower of darkness, Whose windows, opening inward, Stare down upon tidal thoughts. And in this responsive bell,   Hollowed by the silence of the eyes, The mind swings its clapper. And life resolves into relationships Of cadence and dissonance.   The Woman with Child   How I am held within a tranquil shell, As if I too were close within a womb, I too enfolded as I fold the child   As the tight bud enwraps the pleated leaf, The blossom furled like an enfolded fan, So life enfolds me as I fold my flower.   As water lies within a lovely bowl, I lie within my life, and life again Lies folded fast within my living cell.   The …