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MARY O'DONNELL

 

 

 

Mary O'DonnellMary ODonnell is a poet, novelist and short-story writer. Her poetry titles include such as The Place of Miracles, Unlegendary Heroes, The Ark Builders, and in 2015 Those April Fevers. She also wrote the best-selling literary novel The Light-Makers, Virgin and the Boy, The Elysium Testament, Storm over Belfast and Where They Lie. She has has worked in journalism, especially theatre criticism. In 2010 she has co-edited a book of translations from the Galician (To the Winds Our Sails, Salmon Poetry). She presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for RTÉ Radio, including a series on poetry in translation during 2005 and 2006 called Crossing the Lines and taught creative writing at Maynooth University, and worked on the faculty of Carlow University Pittsburghs MFA programme in creative writing for eleven years.

A response from Inpress Books UK to her recent collection Those April Fevers: "This sharp, distinctive collection soars like verse and sings with a unique emotional intensity. Decisive. Ruthless. Brilliant."

 

 

 

 

The pulp of almonds

 

 

By day, tourists shuffle the narrow thread

of Nassau Street, or photograph the Campanile,

with selfies for friends in Japan, China & Ohio.

 

I nudge along, inhale a scent of marzipan and cinnamon,

air-welters of coffee, licks of warm chocolate,

my papers and poems ordered for these students

 

who await a daily bread that fills in ways their parents

long ago discarded, shedding patterns from their own

unpoetried hours. So writer

 

your words are ground to pulp,

the easier for them to digest the scent and spice

of literature, the easier for them to harness some neglect,

 

a father-rape, mother-beating,

whatever eclipsed a light half glimpsed.

Now this earnest appraisal of themselves,

 

for themselves. I think of almonds, boiled and skinned,

unsugared, ground to compliance,

chaste emotions, that holding in of the gut.

 

 

 

©2016 Mary O'Donnell

 

 

Author Links

 

Mary O'Donnell homepage

Mary O'Donnell at Arc Publications

'Those April Fevers': poem by Mary O'Donnell in the Irish Times

 

 

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