Deep Heart’s Core – an anthology

Rather thrilled that a poem of mine is included in this anthology, published by Dedalus (eds. Eugene O’Connell and Pat Boran) which features a hundred Irish poets, each with a touchstone poem and a commentary. The Cork launch of the anthology is on the 19th April, at the Cork City Library, at 7pm.

The poem I chose as my touchstone poem (in slightly different form) is:

Do not lie to a lover

but on the other hand, do not
always tell the whole truth.
Sometimes your secrets will feel
like a fire inside your brain,
silently burning,
but they should be revealed
only when required,
like a cat’s eye necklace
on a road’s dark skin.

Disclosure exposes,
creates a stalking fear,
like that of the grasshopper
who sang all summer
and now faces winter
without provisions,
as the wind whoops and fleers
and sleet skitters over
the whitening ground.

For the commentary, you’ll have to buy the book!

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Good Friday by Daragh Breen

Daragh Breen.jpg

Good Friday (Part III of a poem sequence titled The Sun King)

The sun, as always, sets just off the stone-rubble
of Connemara, dragging with it the dark from
just beyond Mars, drowning all the fuchsia-clogged
lanes of childhood summer evenings out along
Dog’s Bay,
and Clifden also topples into the dark,
only its rooftops visible in the moonlight, like
the jellyfish that cobbled the coast’s warm beaches
and across which we step once more into the hotel
hallway where you once lead the four of us
to look at the photographs on the wall of
Alcock and Brown who made that first Trans-Atlantic
flight in what looked like a homemade aeroplane of
lashed together tarpaulin, travelling sightlessly
through the Atlantic night.
Some morning saw us rumbling
towards the flaming pyre of the sun as it coloured
the inside of the plane the yellows of the gorse
that smells of the cheap macaroon bars that you
loved so much, talking about Little Richard, Jerry
Lee Lewis and Midfield Generals,
and in this ford of your memories
I realised that someday the same Dark Bull would
trample free of its stall and come snorting
across the sea of clouds, coming ashore in the weakening
mind.
Yet, I have seen you now as a man,
a youth, a young boy, and when all our collective
years have slipped from us, drip by slow-slow drip,
and lie pooled in the universe’s stilled dark silence,
the spaces where we sat or walked or talked
will remain, like hollowed-out ghost forms,
waiting for some future sun to nest in their
wide, bridging arms.

From the collection, What the Wolf Heard (Shearsman Books)

‘Is my life so intriguing?/Is it for this you widen your eye-rings?’: Sylvia Plath, conflict, and privacy

gail crowther

Letters_2_Rosenstein_Archive

In recent weeks a new collection of Plath material was advertised for sale, owned by Harriet Rosenstein, an early Plath biographer. The archive consists of Rosenstein’s research notes, recordings of people she interviewed for her book, and unseen photographs of Plath (provenance as yet unknown). However, other material included in the sale were the coroner’s report from Plath’s inquest, medical notes from Plath’s stay in McLean Hospital after her first suicide attempt in 1953, and letters written to her therapist, Dr Ruth Beuscher, between the years 1960 – 1963. The hospital notes were stolen by Beuscher from McLean who eventually handed them onto Rosenstein.

In recent days the British media have picked up on some of the content of these letters (which were previously thought destroyed), namely allegations of domestic abuse by Ted Hughes. Some articles link one instance of this happening to just two days before Plath miscarried their…

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