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New Irish Voices
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Liberty Walks Naked
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Done Dating DJs
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Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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MATTHEW SWEENEY

 

 

 

Born in Donegal in 1952, Matthew Sweeney is based in Cork currently, having previously been resident in Berlin, Timişoara and, for a long time, London. His latest poetry collections are Horse Music (2013), The Night Post (2010), and Black Moon (2007). Several books prior to that include Sanctuary (2004) and Selected Poems (2002). Bilingual collections of Sweeney’s work came out in Germany and Holland in 2008. Earlier translations appeared in Mexico, Romania, Latvia and Slovakia. Death Comes for the Poets, a collaborative novel written with John Hartley Williams, was published in 2013. Bloodaxe published a new collection, Inquisition Lane, in 2015.

 

 

 

 

Owl Song

 

 

The four candles took a while to burn down
but they did, leaving the boy’s corpse in the dark,
apart from a blue light filched from the hospital
that wouldn’t have lit a weasel’s way home.

 

The boy’s father was on top of the water-tower
with a whisky-bottle. His mother was a kilometre
out into the Mediterranean under the moon 
and was finally, finally, thinking of turning back.

 

Only the boy’s sister was in the house with him
and she was sleepwalking up the steep stairs
to stand at his feet and shout out in her sleep
the old song he’d loved so much about the owls.

 

 

©2017 Matthew Sweeney

 

 

Author Links

 

Poetry at Poetry Foundation

Poetry at Poetry International

'The Hole-Up' in NewStatesman

More work by Matthew in Southword

 

 

 

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