During my early teenage years,
when I was old enough to learn big words—
I thought solitude was soltitude. The extra t a sword
to cut through lapsed state of being on one’s own. It appears,
maybe, like a briny situation in the mouth that prefers
the taste of days spent alone. Was it solitude’s better byword
for a happier state of mind? Was it a watchword
for failed solitude, the worst of all our fears?
In Dublin, on a day as grey as if smeared with pewter,
I think of Kavanagh while walking through Raglan Road
and his poem of same name. I think of no kin, no suitor.
I think of the debt these houses have owed
to the people who every day in this city seek recruiters
for new jobs with no solitude or soltitude or abode.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 129:
Issue 129 is a fitting finale to Eavan Boland's term as editor of Poetry Ireland Review. Along with Eavan's inspirational editorial, the issue includes new poems from Eleanor Hooker, Luke Morgan, Mary Montague, Simon Ó Faoláin, Geraldine Mitchell, Brian Kirk, Dane Holt, and Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal. The titles weighed and measured by the reviewing team include new books from Mary Noonan, Tracy K Smith, Nessa O'Mahony, Susan Millar DuMars, Stephen Sexton, John W Sexton, and Eileen Sheehan, along with Thomas McCarthy's expert appraisal of Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy, edited by Benjamin Keatinge. Ciarán O'Rourke provides an essay on William Carlos Williams, assessing his influence on Irish writing and the influence of Irish writers on the New Jersey-based poet and paediatrician. And artist Ailbhe Barret provides the landscape images for PIR 129, a stunning visual send-off for this last issue of 2019.