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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Gerard SmythGerard Smyth was born in Dublin where he still lives. His seventh collection, The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems ( Dedalus Press, Dublin ) was published in 2010 and appeared in an Italian translation last year.  He was the 2012 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the University of St Thomas in Minnesota. He is co-editor of If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus) which was Dublin’s One City One Book in 2014.. He is a member of Aosdána and Poetry Editor of the Irish Times.












Homage to Nick Drake

Storm on Summerhill







Homage to Nick Drake

for Sasha Dugdale



Like Mary Jane, his tresses were long. 

He was a new Caedmon,

bard of a halcyon summer –

of the downs and the shires,

sweet hedgerows and apple orchards,

the Lady Chapels and healing waters. 


With brooding heart and eyes downcast

he wandered the forests

where all must lose their way

and sang in a low croon,

with cellos around him, under leaf-shade

that had sheltered Hardy and Browning.


He was a new Caedmon,

last keeper of the Romantic Sublime,

of an England of the lark ascending,

the plough horse walking the furrow  –

Ely, Canterbury, Tanworth-in-Arden;

cathedral choirs singing Day is Done.












Storm on Summerhill



From here the harbour shows its darkest waters –

there’s a ship that’s safely home

and one that’s going to Ecuador,

but first advances slowly

in stately progress to the river estuary,

past the memorial

for sailors drowned and seamen lost

because they wandered off

the map of co-ordinates.


From here you can see the rail-yards,

the lit carriages and people waiting.

You can even hear the click of changing destinations,

the muffled announcement on the station tannoy

that trains are cancelled,

the line is blocked by trees that fell

in the storm that has left its wreckage:

disfigured land, the tottering half of walls not built to last.


From here the harbourside is a picture of rainy darkness.

There is quiet after the storm, a shift in the balance,

the last diminuendo trailing off

as when the pianist has finished

playing the furious chords of Rachmaninov.



©2014 Gerard Smyth



Author Links


Gerard Smyth homepage

Gerard Smyth at Poetry International

Gerard Smyth at Dedalus Press website






©2009 Southword Editions
Munster Literature Centre

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15