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MARK ROPER

 

 

 

Mark Roper poetry in Southword JournalMark Roper was born in Derbyshire in 1951, and brought up in North London. He went to a boarding school in Surrey, to university in Reading and Oxford, and lived and worked in Sussex, Swansea and other parts of London. In 1980 he moved to County Kilkenny with his partner Jane. At first they shared a cottage with friends, then bought a cottage of their own in Tobernabrone, where they’ve lived happily ever since. His collections include The Hen Ark (Peterloo/Salmon 1990), which won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection; Catching The Light (Peterloo/Lagan 1997); a chapbook, The Home Fire (Abbey Press 1998) and Whereabouts (Peterloo/Abbey Press 2005). He was Editor of Poetry Ireland for 1999. Even So: New & Selected Poems was published by the Dedalus Press in autumn 2008, and he was recently anthologised in Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland by the same publisher.

 

 

 

19.9.08

 

Today would have been

your ninetieth birthday,

 

so I lie in bed and listen

to the wood pigeons,

 

their cou-cou-rou

drifting through trees.

 

I count ninety rounds

to keep in mind,

 

a sound bath,

a sonorous envelope

 

to cover my head today

like the headscarf

 

you’d tie under your chin,

or your wedding veil

 

blown above your head

as you wait in a photo

 

to enter the church.

But I keep losing count.

 

Or when I get to ninety

the pigeons keep going

 

and their calls decline

to add up to anything.

 

 

 

©2010 Mark Roper

 

 

Author Links

 

Roper at Dedalus Press

Poetry International Web poems and bio

Review of Even So in Southword Journal Online

Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

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