In the Municipal Pool

Leontia Flynn

In the municipal pool
beside the parenting room
where I go, betimes,
to attend my inner child

water is falling
from the closed communal showers.
Clear, hot, chemical,
moving – utterly free –

steam ascends
to the foam white ceiling tiles.
In the farthest stall
where the drain grids hiss

an Italian woman
is chatting and laughing.
She is what I imagine
Elena Ferrante

might look like naked:
mature and handsome –
at ease in our world
of women without men.

Clear, hot, chemical,
moving – utterly free –
the waters flow,
are flowing and flown,

as outside sun shines
and history beats
on the roof
of the gynaeceum.

Page 11, Poetry Ireland Review 131

Poetry Ireland Review 131:

Edited by Colette Bryce

Pride of place in Poetry Ireland Review 131, edited by Colette Bryce, is given to two as-yet-unpublished poems from Eavan Boland's final collection, The Historians, along with ‘Remembering Eavan’, Jody Allen Randolph’s poignant tribute to the poet. The issue also contains new work from Derek Mahon, Leontia Flynn, Harry Clifton, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, and Colm Tóibín, along with the emerging voices of Sree Sen, Nithy Kasa, Audrey Molloy, Padraig Regan, and many others.

The review section includes Maria Johnston examining new work from Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin as poet and as Ireland Chair of Poetry: Vona Groarke assessing Deryn Rees-Jones and Jericho Brown; and Julie Morrissy reviewing Jane Clarke, Simon Lewis, and Breda Wall Ryan.

Also included in this issue are six 'pandemic postcards' from Irish poets based in Ireland and in Britain, six different takes on attempting to live the creative and the lockdown life. Other noteworthy contributions include Ben Keatinge's survey of surrealism in Irish poetry, while Alex Pryce's interview with Sinéad Morrissey takes the poet through her back pages, from There Was Fire In Vancouver  to Selected Poems. And John Short's artwork features vivid watercolours of staycation swimming spots within two kilometres of his studio.