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



Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition




Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





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Thomas McCarthy in Southword Journal


Originally from Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Thomas McCarthy now lives in Cork. He studied at UCC under the influence of Sean Lucy and John Montague; Sean Dunne and Theo Dorgan were fellow students. He received the Patrick Kavangh Award in 1997 for his first book and the American-Irish Foundation's Literary Award in 1984. His work includes Mr Dineen's Careful Parade (Anvil, 1999) and Merchant Prince (Anvil, 2005). In 2009, Anvil Press published McCarthy's The Last Geraldine Officer. His historical work on the burning of Cork's Carnegie Library & the rebuilding of its collections, Rising from the Ashes, appeared in 2010.







Wanting to Leave Early





Late Afternoon Sketch



You sketch this afternoon’s fugitive cafe:
The red pastels are on fire
Beneath your fingers’ taut nervousness,
And the flaxen weave of lengthening sun.

It’s not that an afternoon has a form,
But shadows that are unnecessary
Are guillotined by your hazel eyes:
All the headless enter a neighbourhood of art

And grow warm in your hand. A bright glow
Is forming, a moist animal’s nose
And eyes of pencils that stare at us—
Any moment now the line may say a name,

Any name, to become defined; to impress
Itself upon your September gaze.
The cup is weary of your long neglect;
Its shadow lengthens as the bodies fall.

You grasp at ceramics and drink the coffee cold.
Now, an explosion of rage, a splutter
Of disgust as you water-colour the plate—
Lady, it was not this table that sailed away

For half an hour at least: it was you
With your impatient spoon, your pastel minutes.
Now, another kind of finger-click, a shadow
Filled. Your servant, madam. Penciled, steaming.





Wanting to Leave Early



I turn the ignition key and gingerly reverse away,
the barbecue a point and conversations just begun:
what is it that always calls me
to leave early? It must be my mother
who has begun to worry again in her cold grave.
It must be her, a young mother calling her son;
or the way worried mothers await a child's return,
late at night, the welcome door-light on,
or the stress that is marked upon a serious boy
by each troubled mother. It is something
in the hour that the hours won't restore to us—
the hour-hand pulling hard like an un-redeemed
pawnshop ticket and you and I wanting to be
both here with the lively young and yet with her,
frustrated to the last, both leaving and staying on.


©2010 Thomas McCarthy




Author Links


Interview and Readings by McCarthy at Podcasts.ie

'The Poetry of Thomas McCarthy' by August Kleinzahler

Bio and poems at Poetry International Web








©2009 Southword Editions
Munster Literature Centre

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