Each day this week we're sharing poems by Ireland's top contemporary poets. This week-long celebration will culminate November 2-4 with IAC PoetryFest 2012, our fourth annual festival featuring ten poets presenting their work at IAC, with a special tribute to the distinguished and influential poet John Montague.
Tuesday, October 30
by Mary O'Malley
Europe is a turtle's back broken
open with bricks, with gunfire,
with love songs shifting in deep time,
borders snaking in slow motion.
My country is a worn out thing,
badly cut and overpriced.
I only ever owned the coast,
this beautiful indented line.
It's time to shake it off, loosen
the ties, not the way some statue, Phedre
say, or Maeve , before the nation
she wore and loved became a shroud
stepped out of it, went bare-breasted
and clothed herself in rags of light -
such get-up made the gods feel bested
its 'nothing more to lose' a threat -
but quietly, the way the people of my place
have taken boats and planes and gone
and almost always come home
for weddings, funerals and fate.
Her Palm, Her Apotheosis
by Timothy Donnelly
There - past the ghost of the carpet,
an inch from the tasseled fringe, an inch
from the froth of the wave
that plashed expressly
west of Asia; here-
in her isolate room,
in a permanent
pot of terra cotta, its imperial fronds
in a fanning of afternoon sun, this is absolutely
the absolute palm. She sees
nothing else, no one else sees
the palm that she becomes, being
in a fanfare of vanishing, sun.
Don't miss Mary O'Malley and Timothy Donnelly at IAC PoetryFest 2012 Saturday November 3 at 4 pm.
Check in each day this week to read works by featured writers of IAC PoetryFest 2012, including: Ciarán Berry, Anne Carson, Timothy Donnelly, Theo Dorgan, John Montague, Mary O'Malley, Leanne O'Sullivan, Galway Kinnell, Brenda Shaughnessy and C. K. Williams.
About the Poets:
Mary O'Malley was born in Connemara in 1954. She is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently Valparaiso (Carcanet, 2012), which emerged from her time on the Irish marine research ship, The Celtic Explorer. Her other work includes A Perfect V (2006) and The Boning Hall (2002), both from Carcanet Press, and Asylum Road (Salmon Poetry, 2001). She is the recipient of awards including the Hennessey Award and the 2009 Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award. She is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of arts and letters. She lives near the village of Moycullen and is a lecturer in writing at the National University of Ireland.
Timothy Donnelly was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1969. He is the author of The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010; Picador, 2012), which was the winner of this year's Kingsley Tuft Award, and of Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit (Grove, 2003). His work has appeared in journals including A Public Space, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, jubilat, The Paris Review and PEN America. He is Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Columbia University and is also Poetry Editor of Boston Review. He lives in Brooklyn.