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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney

 

 

Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan

 

 

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Done Dating DJs
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Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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HUGH McFADDEN

 

Hugh McFadden

Hugh McFadden was born in Derry, lived briefly there and in Donegal, before moving to Dublin. For many years he was a journalist and regularly reviewed books for the Press Group of papers, as well as for Hibernia magazine, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times and The Sunday Tribune. McFadden was also a history researcher with The Irish Manuscripts Commission and an editorial assistant on The Correspondence of Daniel O’Connell (IUP–Blackwater Press/ 8 vols.). He is the executor of the literary estate of the writer John Jordan and has edited, with an introduction, Jordan’s Selected Poems, which was published by Dedalus Press in April 2008. Three collections of his own poems have been published, the most recent being Elegies and Epiphanies: Selected Poems (Lagan Press, Belfast, 2005). His own previous collections are: Cities of Mirrors (Beaver Row Press, Dublin, 1984) and Pieces of Time (Lapwing Publications, Belfast, 2004). He is working on a new book of poems to be called Empire of Shadows.  

 

 

David’s Farewell

(i.m. David Marcus died 9/5/2009)

 

There was something slightly incongruous

about the setting for your last farewell:

Mount Jerome’s Victorian Chapel

with all those memorial tablets

on the walls for the relics of empire,

Major This, and Captain This-or-That.

 

The cemetery, though, was apt enough,

with all its Victorian decay—

near the entrance was the grave of Wilde

père et mater, missing its famous son

Oscar, lost forever to Père Lachaise:

Not far away were the bones of John Synge,

who ‘lived with sunshine and the moon’s delight’, 

‘that enquiring man’ wrote Willie Yeats;

here, too, the bones of Jack B. Yeats

the artist, visionary as the poet:

nearby were the remains of many friends

James Plunkett, Ó Direáin and John Jordan –

you knew them all, David, read all their work.

 

After Mozart’s piano sonata

16 and a Schubert Impromptu,

some verses from Ecclesiastes,

‘To everything there is a season …’

the curtain closed slowly on your coffin

and the congregation sang out The Banks,

‘How oft do my thoughts in their fancy take flight …’

                                    

Then, after eighty-four years, you were gone.

 

Outside, living friends murmured words of praise:

‘He was Edwardian, a gentleman’,

how you would have smiled at that, though pleased.

 

A pair of plumed horses, suitably black,

drew an empty hearse down the avenue,

leaving the shades of the dead to rest.

 

©2009 Hugh McFadden

 

Author Links

McFadden at Irish Writers Online

'Lebanon Poem' in Arabesques Review

Discussion of Selected Prose of John Jordan on Off the Shelf

 

 

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