Nita, Sri Lanka, 2005

Aoife Lyall

You pet her coarse mitten hands.
Pinch her stitched toes. 
Pat her cotton hair.

‘Nita’, sewn neatly onto her modest vest.
In Hebrew, it means Grace; in Indian faithful.
Native American, bear.
(That’s what we call you). 

Taller than you,
you look up to her and laugh 
at her dark eyes, her curved nose,
her thin red-stitched smile.
She is twelve years old now;
one of twelve thousand made 
for the twelve thousand lost.
Your first doll, you will give her 
the thoughts and words the tsunami 
washed away. You will give her life,
never knowing she has died.

Page 33, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 122
Issue 122

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 122:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Fifty years after his passing the poet Patrick Kavanagh is remembered in Poetry Ireland Review 122, in a perceptive essay by Eavan Boland which invokes Chinua Achebe and Anthony Cronin, among others, to position Kavanagh in a pre-eminent place among the poets of his time, and ours. Richard Murphy is also celebrated in a fascinating interview ranging over all of his ninety years, in which he discusses a number of his poems – reproduced in the issue – framed by their social and political contexts. There are new poems from John O'Donnell, Mary Montague, Julie Morrissy, Colm Breathnach, and Moya Cannon, among many others, Alvy Carragher is our Featured Poet, and titles subjected to critical scrutiny include recent work from Paddy Bushe, Jacob Polley, Paula Meehan, Rachael Boast, and Matthew Sweeney. Liam Harrison provides a perceptive essay on Derek Mahon's connections with artist Edvard Munch, while the images in this issue are provided by artists from the Olivier Cornet Gallery, a neighbour to Poetry Ireland on Parnell Square.