Hans Ardently Collects Patients’ Art Work

Niamh Boyce

                            Heidelberg Asylum, 1890


i once had a sister

Agnes, Laundry Number
583, embroiders phrases
‘from her disturbed mind’

onto the bodice, sleeves
and cuffs of a jacket
cut from asylum gowns.

i once had white stockings

Confined to the ground floor
she threads each eye, pushes
needle after needle

stitching ich ich ich ... out
side and in, till linen
whispers meine meine
to skin.

Page 21, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 123
Issue 123

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 123:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Among the poets offering new work in the final Poetry Ireland Review of 2017 are Orla Martin, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Harry Clifton,  Erin Halliday, Alan Titley, and Nan Cohen, while the Featured Poet is Belfast sensation Stephen Sexton. The books reviewed in this issue include new titles from Michael O'Loughlin, the late John  Montague, Biddy Jenkinson, Aifric Mac Aodha, Mark Roper, and Colette Bryce's Selected Poems.  Also included is editor Eavan Boland's examination of the life and work of the late John Ashbery, and the reasons for his pre-eminence among American poets of his century; and an evocative tribute to the late Gerard Fanning from his friend Gerard Smyth. The artwork for PIR 123 comes from the SO Fine Art Editions gallery, and the issue concludes with nine intriguing questions for Michael Longley, posed by fellow Belfast poets Stephen Connolly and Stephen Sexton – followed, of course, by nine intriguing answers.