John FitzGerald is Ireland’s new rising star. He was announced as the 2014 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition winner the same week he was shortlisted for the Hennessy Emerging Poet Award. And my money’s on him winning. His work is always exhilarating and unexpected, due to his extensive travels and seemingly inexhaustible depth and breadth of knowledge. Naturally, he’s the main librarian, at University College, Cork. He was also commended in the 2014 Gregory O’Donoghue Prize and longlisted in the 2014 UK National Poetry Competition and in the 2014 Fish Poetry Prize. Here are the poems that appeared in the Irish Times this week. Watch this space.
Curiosité – un Regard Moderne
The latest Sotheby’s email sale announcement proclaims the chance to obtain a pair of Aepyornis maximus (Elephant Bird) eggs, an exceptional complete Moa (Megalapteryx didinus) [sic] skeleton, or even a collection of Nô masks: ‘Get the last of your eggs, bones n masks’ you can almost hear the criers proclaim at the gates of the chateau in Dampierre of the impecunious latter-day Duc de Luynes.
There’s a place on the Dublin-Cork line where woodland opens out to fields within the wood – two or three, irregular in shape and secretive in their deep surround, unperturbed by the sudden pulsing passing-by of trains. And then they’ve gone. I always seem to lift my eyes at just this point in the journey, signalled by some animus of field and its possession of me since a child, for all the fields I have traversed and loved and lost.