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New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon

 

 

Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
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Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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KATHERINE DUFFY

 

 

 

Katherine Duffy's second poetry collection Sorrow's Egg was published by the Dedalus Press in 2011. More recent work has appeared in Magma, Orbis, the Rialto, The Stony Thursday Book and The Lonely Crowd. She writes fiction in both Irish and English and her short stories have won awards including the Hennessy Award and a number of Oireachtas na Gaeilge prizes. She is also an accomplished translator and has translated the work of leading Irish language writers, including Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Katherine is subject to occasional periods of hibernation and is currently waking from one, feeling refreshed.

 

 

 

 

Talking the Owl Away

 

 

You've opted out of the sing-song;
we're in the little sitting-room at the back.
The bay window is a book of winter.

In an old, bedraggled tree
an owl sits. You're convinced of it,
see him, motionless in the crook.

I put on my glasses and carefully check
out an intrigue complicated by ivy.
It's happened at intervals since the stroke:

your mind is clear but your eyes are gone
rogue, or have become genius inventors,
scheming the startling out of the ordinary.

Last week we looked out from the café
to a building-site across the road;
in scrap-iron tossed on rubble, you saw

three monkeys at play. You knew it was a trick
then - lines and planes conspiring
to send odd, sculptural messages to your brain

but you're very taken with this latest apparition.
I make my case: the dark whorl  
where one branch surges over another,

etcetera until, eventually,
you let go of the owl. I've talked it away
as you might have coaxed a toy from me once
when it was time for bed and you wanted to tidy up.

Elsewhere in the house, curtains, lights
preclude fantastic possibilities.  We sit,
let the glass grow blank in its own good time.  

 

 

©2017 Katherine Duffy

 

 

Author Links

 

Katherine Duffy's website

Poetry in Poethead

Katherine Duffy at Dedalus Press

 

 

 

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