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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Cork Conference 2

From:

"L.MacMahon and T.R.Healy" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

L.MacMahon and T.R.Healy

Date:

Sun, 22 Mar 1998 18:14:52 GMT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (106 lines)

Another instalment. More to follow over the next few days including a biblio
and distn details.

Randolph Healy.

**********************************************

Trevor Joyce was followed by Michael Smith who read mainly new work which
included some remarkably successful poems written for children. He also
read some of his translations of Machado and Lorca. Unfortunately I do not
have any of the texts to hand. Here is a poem from Michael's collection:
_Lost Genealogies_.

WHEELWRIGHTS MICHAEL SMITH

The iron hoop
burns the timbers tight
in a geometry of hands.

They cannot read the stars
like the Incas.
Their wheels are not planetary,
sounding celestial music.

Bump of cobble and kerb
is their consideration:
winger slush and summer rain,
ice and smooth rotation.

***********

Next on was Geoffrey Squires, who read two long poems, both of which were in
sections.

Here is a sample from _A Long Poem in Three Sections_ which was launched at
the conference and is published by Levraut de Poche (Form Books with a beret
and string of onions).

from A LONG POEM IN THREE SECTIONS GEOFFREY SQUIRES

II

No depth here but recession of surfaces
rock behind rock and behind that the road
and then rocks again, white, placed
one in front of the other, irregularly,
all shimmering

Gullies and folds, the basins
formed by the rocks, and the earth between
where it collects, light following
falling into the hollows, bending
over surfaces, a confusion
of ways down

The heat brings with it a silence
which is not the silence of night or of snow
but a heaviness and troubled vision
with stones, metal, buildings, all shimmering

Haze over everything, making everything unclear
as the heat rises, confusing
even the points of the buildings, the sharp features
the definiteness that they have

Warm evening, luminous calm
somewhere a bay is filled
soft tic of birds in the night air
rock behing rock and the path between
boulders gleaming white in the dark
in the distance the small eye of the house

Rocks in the darkness, shapes
sensed rather than seen, inert like animals
asleep in the middle of a field or by the road
which one moves among with care, picking a way home
across the dark grass

Small fires in the near hills and sound of the sea
beating down in the hollow of the bay
no sense of arrival but of echo only
reverberation in the darkness, footsteps
between silences, a dog barking in space

And the rocks still warm still shimmering
in the dark, after the day's burning
like the memory of another world
which they have crossed from somehow
like a memory of the physical

they are cool now in the moonlight
which picks them out on the hillside
like smooth, sleeping animals
hump-backed white forms
half-buried in the earth
and yet because of the moonlight
seemingly disembodied and removed
and quite unearthly


************************



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