Hats Off

Louis de Paor
             Hold on to me and we’ll both drown
                        – John Berryman
have you noticed
how their hair shines,
the colour of their cheeks 
and nails, eyes lit,
shaped and shaded 
to match their bright
new clothes, happiness
dripping from them,
head to toe
the middle-aged women
who are about to leave
their husbands & children
locked up in the attic
where they found
whatever they were looking for
all these years
only they didn’t realise
what it was till they found it?
I have not, you say, 
heading out the door,
smelling so sweet
you’d give a daisy 
bad thoughts, 
a vintage hat
tilted over one eye
that is still sea-deep
full of shipwrecks
and manwrecks
women crying
and one boy
who keeps going 
down again and again
no matter how
you try to stop him:
he almost 
in you once
Page 119, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120
Issue 120

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke's final issue as editor is packed with new poems from leading contemporary poets, including Simon Armitage, Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce, Paul Muldoon, Sean O'Brien and Caitríona O'Reilly. Books reviewed include new work from Derek Mahon, Bernard O'Donoghue, Rita Ann Higgins, Martina Evans, Denise Riley and the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo. The centrepiece of the issue is an interview with Paul Muldoon in which the Armagh maestro shares his thoughts on subjects as diverse as public surveillance, the economic down-turn, and the exclamation mark. The cover image is by photographer Justyna Kielbowicz, and the issue also contains award-winning artwork from Sven Sandberg, Aoife Dunne, Jane Rainey, and Michelle Hall. Instead of an editorial, Vona herself answers the questionnaire she put to the contributors of Poetry Ireland Review Issue 118: The Rising Generation.