Being a Poet

Colette Nic Aodha

‘A necklace of wrens’: when he was young
Michael Hartnett lay down in a field one day,
Lots of wrens settled on his chest:

Dreoilín, dreoilín, rí na n-éan,
is mór and cuid, is beag tú féin,
éirí suas, a bhean an tí,
is tabhair dom pingin,
chun é a chur ina luí.

His Granny said that he would be a poet.

I recall laying down on grass at the foot of a hill,
when I was young, out of the sight of my mother,
dodging work.
She told me I was going to be a poet,
but when she spoke
it sounded more like a threat.

Page 18, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 128
Issue 128

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 128:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 128, edited by Eavan Boland, is full of strong poems and strong opinions. The issue features a total of 61 poets, including new work from Moya Cannon, Ciaran Carson, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Andrew Rahal, Rachael Hegarty, Eoin Rogers, Liz Quirke, and Featured Poet Caitlin Newby. There's an article on Seamus Heaney, excerpted from Minor Monuments, Ian Maleney's masterly book of essays; and, in the first in a series of dips into the PIR archives, Paula Meehan's still-timely essay on her time as Writing Fellow in Residence at TCD is reprinted from PIR  36  (1992).

Books reviewed include new work from Jessica Traynor, Michael Coady, John Liddy, Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Anne Tannam, Gail McConnell, 
Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Michael Hofmann, and Harry Clifton, along with 17 other titles. Ann Quinn provides the eloquent cover and artwork for Poetry Ireland Review 128, now available to order online as a single issue or on subscription.