I wouldn’t like to acknowledge the nobs downstairs who,
despite the many times I’ve counted to ten
and asked, without expletives, won’t turn the bass down.
I am in no way indebted to them
and their Hendrix, and Led Zep phases,
respectively. The time they lit a fire
at 4 a.m. in the backyard has added
nothing to my endeavours. I couldn’t
be less grateful to them.
My landlord, non-pareil,
deserves no credit whatsoever
for never fitting draft excluders
onto the front door or into the windows,
taking weeks to unblock the sink
and replace the lament in the fan oven.
If it wasn’t for his wonderful
negligence so much more of this would have been possible.
He’s truly made my life more complicated.
To all my friends who’ve never bought my book:
words can’t convey my scorn.
This is for them.
Northern Ireland is a constant source
of homesickness and identity crisis
without which I could imagine a happier life.
Particular thanks to my teachers, and
the village of Crossgar.
X: thanks for the sleepless nights and writer’s block;
anytime I go to Portheras Cove
or drive down those corridory Cornish roads
in the unreal light of a vintage summer,
get lost on a walk, or in somebody else’s eye
across a table at a Parisian café,
eat scones encased in clotted cream
and (my favourite) raspberry jam,
anytime I taste spice in a Shiraz,
or get a tannin tongue from too much tea
I’ll think of you.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 121:
Eavan Boland's first issue as editor of Poetry Ireland Review aims to encourage a conversation about poetry which is 'noisy and fractious certainly ... but a conversation nevertheless that can be thrilling in its reach and commitment'. There are new poems from Thomas McCarthy, Jean Bleakney, Wendy Holborow, Paul Perry, Aifric Mac Aodha, and many others, while the issue also includes work from Brigit Pegeen Kelly, with an accompanying essay on the poet by Eavan Boland. Eavan Boland also offers an introduction to the work of poet Solmaz Sharif, while there are reviews of the latest books from Simon Armitage, Peter Sirr, Lo Kwa Mei-en, and Vona Groarke, among others. PIR 121 also includes Theo Dorgan's elegiac tribute to his friend John Montague – a canonical poet, in contrast to the emerging poets Susannah Dickey, Conor Cleary and Majella Kelly, who contribute new work and will also read for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series as part of ILFD 2017.