The Irish Times has been running a contest to select the 100 best loved Irish poems (chosen by whomever responds, I guess). You can read the results here. Not surprisingly, Yeats, Heaney, and Kavanagh populate the top ten.
But here’s a poem from a poet who wasn’t included, Eamon Grennan, perhaps because he’s lived most of his adult life in the United States. It seems like a very Irish poem to me.
When I’d walked out to the sea surfing and spuming
into meerschaum heaps of lettuce-tinted gauze,
breakers becoming light then noise, the ocean raging
and rearranging this long spit of sand like a life
at the mercy of circumstance, I saw the north wind Continue reading “Irish poems”
Here’s your Monday poetry vitamin (and isn’t this how you imagine an Irish poet should look!):
I was watching a robin fly after a finch – the smaller bird
chirping with excitement, the bigger, its breast blazing, silent
in light-winged earnest chase – when, out of nowhere
over the chimneys and the shivering front gardens,
flashes a sparrowhawk headlong, a light brown burn
scorching the air from which it simply plucks
like a ripe fruit the stopped robin, whose two or three
cheeps of terminal surprise twinkle in the silence
closing over the empty street when the birds have gone
about their own business, and I began to understand
how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small
elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth
strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.