I keep writing my mother into kitchens
as if I cannot imagine her another way,
cake cooling on counter, knife on table,
the disturbance of us in the background.
A life in dollhouse proportions –
a stove, a child, four walls pressing in on her,
never the sharp turn of her head,
never her dark and restless silences.
Maybe this is how I want her preserved,
bending over ovens, crooning to the radio,
a careful sketch contained by the page.
How can I write the word mother
and not reduce her to the idea of one?
Like berries cooked down to a sweet jam
after all their wild and irresistible living.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 134:
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, William Keohane, Gabriel Rosenstock, Alvy Carragher, Greta Stoddart, and Ciaran Berry are just some of the poets publishing new work in Poetry Ireland Review 134, edited by Colette Bryce. The issue also contains reviews of 18 recent titles, including the latest from Michael Longley, Martina Evans, Rachel Long, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, Matthew Rice, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Moya Cannon's Collected Poems.
Tríona Ní Shíocháin contributes an essay, 'Foremothers', a revelatory account of a "hidden history ... of women’s oral poetic traditions", excerpted from A History of Irish Women's Poetry; Ben Keatinge looks at the sonnet – a form defined by Harry Clifton in Trumpet 8 as the 'pocket masterpiece' – from an Irish perspective; and Tom French pays tribute to the late and great Belfast maestro, Ciaran Carson.
'Singles Archive' is the title of the cover image, by Colin Martin, who provides all of the superb artwork for this issue of Poetry Ireland Review.