Friday, December 28, 2007

Poetry by Deirdre Brennan from Arlen House

The poet Deirdre Brennan’s latest work is a twin-volume containing two distinct works, a book of poetry in English entitled Swimming with Pelicans and a book of poetry in Irish entitled Ag Eitilt fara Condair. The book was launched in Galway City Library on Thursday November 22nd.

One of the poems in the collection is entitled An Hibiscus, the Hibiscus being that tropical flower of such great and universally admired beauty. Deirdre Brennan’s poem discusses the invisibility of older people, especially older women.
We liked the poem very much and in preparation for the launch Petrina Mee, a member of library staff at Library Headquarters, translated the poem into English. We reproduce below a section of the translation, and we hope that it will encourage you to enjoy the full poem in it’s original form and that you will also seek out more of Deirdre Brennan’s fine poetry.

Deirdre Brennan’s book is published by Arlen House. It is full of poems of the kind of power and life and colour to be found in the lines below:

The change to city life was hard on her,
she who had lived all her life in a rural setting
the young starlings would have learned how to fly by now;
the hawk-moths sucking August sweetness from the petunias
and the owls calling in the night in her old garden

She felt herself taking on the form of a hibiscus, potted up in a hothouse,
her blooms as red as wild corn-poppies
in the morning, the trumpet of her petals opening,
falling to the windowsill by day’s end
some day they’d see her own petals closing one after the other
folding over on her stamen so compactly
that they would not be able to separate them from each other without tearing them


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