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Irish Poetry: Poems and Songs
Here are our favorite poems and songs (thinly disguised poems, in this case).
We are always interested in your favorites. So send them in to us.
In addition to the poems, we try to include a short biography, a photograph (if we can find one) and some book sources - so you can add to your own collections.
Notes: The richest, most thorough site on Irish Writers and poets is The Princess Grace Irish Library. They are one of my frequent sources for biographical information. Be warned, however, the information is very dense. They eschew such frivolities as articles and conjunctions and the most common punctuation mark is the semi-colon. This gives the appearance of almost solid black on the page.
Click here for: The Poets Library
Indices: Irish Times Top 100 Index of Poets Index of Poems
Poetry of the Irish Guards
Edited and adapted by Bridget Haggerty
The Irish Guards were formed on 1st April 1900 by order of Queen Victoria to commemorate the bravery of the Irish people who fought in the Boer war.
On 21st April 1900, the first recruit, James O’Brien of Limerick, was enlisted and many followed as a free transfer was offered to all Irishmen serving not only in the Guards Brigade but also from the Line Regiments.
At the Seminar
by Dennis ODriscoll
An electronic blip from house-martins as they pass
an open window at the conference centre; frantic birds,
on errands of mercy, transporting relief supplies to tricorn beaks.
We sneak a glance at our mobiles for text messages.
Crawling across the hotel lawn, sun puts mist in the shade:
a transparent morning now, our vision unhindered for miles.
A golfing party, armed with a quiver of clubs, aims
for the bull's-eye of the first hole; others, near a pool
blue as our EU flag with its water sparkle of stars, dry off:
shrink-wrapped in towels, they sink back into resort chairs.
For serious objective reasons, we are informed, our keynote
speaker is delayed; the Chairman's interpreted words
are relayed simultaneously through headphones:
In order to proceed to a profitable guidance for our work
which will be carried out with a feature of continuity and priority . . .
I see the lake basking in its own reflected glory, self-absorbed,
imagine turquoise dragonflies, wings wide as wedding hats,
fish with scarlet fins, water-walking insects.
I intervene. I associate myself with the previous speaker's views.
Discussions go on in all our languages at once, as we unscrew
still mineral water, bottled at some local beauty spot.
Certain administrations suffered cuts as they weren't entrusted
with new attributions likely to fill in the logistical gap
resulting from the inference of the frontierless economic area . . .
In two hours (less, if with luck that stupid clock has stopped)
our final workshops will convene in the break-out rooms.
Then it will be time to draw conclusions at the plenary,
to score evaluation forms, return to our respective floors
to dress down for the bus tour of the Old Town.
Now the rapporteurs start synopsising
the workshop findings on felt-tip flip-charts.
The Chairman is summing up: New challenges
overlook the world scenery in our global stance . . .
Lily pads strut across the lake like stepping stones;
fish risk an upward plunge; martins plucking
sustenance from thick air lunge at their mud nests.
Hold the world right there. Don't move a single thing.
From: Exemplary Damages
Anvil Press Poetry