Saturday, December 11, 2010

Irish Poem of the Month

A new feature of the blog. I think Irish fiction since WW2 has been a little bit safe but Irish poetry has been booming since at least the 70's when, partially as a response to the Troubles, N Irish verse suddenly, er, exploded...The circle that formed around Queens University has produced Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners and winners of virtually every other important literary award. Among the poets from this circle are: Seamus Heaney, Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, Derek Mahon, Tom Paulin...to name but a few. I'll also include stuff that's being going on south of the border and the exciting new generation of poets from all over the island. This month's offering is Carson's Belfast Confetti:


Belfast Confetti


Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining exclamation marks,
Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the explosion.
Itself - an askerisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire...
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head but it kept stuttering,
All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and colons.


I know this labyrinth so well - Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street -
Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street.
Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-talkies.
What is my name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going?
A fusillade of question- marks.