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The Mischievous Boy and other poems
September 2008

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The Last Regatta
April 2001

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The Doll with Two Backs and Other Poems
December 2004

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When Love Is Not Enough: New & Selected Poems
June 2010

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Loose Connections
November 2012

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Hoops of Holiness
September 2016

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December 2020

Honouring The Word: Poetry and Prose, Celebrating Maurice Harmon on his 80th birthday. Compiled and edited by Barbara Brown.

Maurice Harmon

ISBN: 978-1-907056-48-2

Page Count: 74

Publication Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

About this Book

This special tribute book celebrating Maurice Harmon on his 80th birthday and featuring poems - many previously unpublished - from:

Richard Murphy, Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Sheila O'Hagan, Rosemarie Rowley, Macdara Woods, Eiléan Ní Chuilleaná¡n, Seamus Cashman, John F. Deane, John Ennis, Bernard O'Donoghue, Rory Brennan, Iggy McGovern, Jessie Lendennie, Micheal O'Siadhail, Noel Monahan, Biddy Jenkinson, Peter Fallon, Eugene O'Connell, Gerard Smyth, Theo Dorgan, Thomas McCarthy, Mary O'Donnell, Dennis O'Driscoll, Paula Meehan, Peter Sirr, Patrick Cotter, Joseph Woods, Roderick Ford and Paul Perry.  With a Foreword by Christopher Murray, Emeritus Professor, UCD and Joseph Woods, director of Poetry Ireland,

About Maurice Harmon:
In addition to being a poet, Maurice Harmon is the leading scholar-critic of his generation in the field of Anglo-Irish Literature. He pioneered its development as an academic discipline and is the author of a number of significant works, from a basic bibliographical guide to headline studies of Seán O Faoláin, Austin Clarke, Thomas Kinsella, and others. His publications include Seán O Faoláin. A Life (1994), Selected Essays (2006), and Thomas Kinsella. Designing for the Exact Needs (2008). He edited the definitive anthology Irish Poetry after Yeats (1978, 1998) and published The Dialogue of the Ancients of Ireland (2009), a new translation of Acallam na Senórach. His poetry collections are: The Last Regatta (Salmon, 2001), The Doll with Two Backs (Salmon, 2004), The Mischievous Boy and other poems (Salmon, 2008), and When Love Is Not Enough: New & Selected Poems (Salmon, 2010).

Read a sample from this book


Starlings Over Termini Station

   for Maurice Harmon

Starlings like poets have no concept of the wide world,
Not for them what is orchestral or a larger master plan,
But as they wheel and bank over Termini Station,
As they lift in a brownish cloud in the winter cold,

They keep an eye on only seven companions in the sky.
So it is with poets, I think. Poets have seven companions
In a long or short life; one who collects the first medallions,
One who soon follows with a sharp unerring eye

And earns the praise of strangers, one who will fall
Early in an Antarctic of alcohol, his phrases covered with snow,
One who will marry well, travel and never want to know
A thing about poets ever-ever again; one who hears the call

To Catholic priesthood, one who emigrates to teach textual
Analysis, who grows more angry every day with books from home,
And one who knows that an Italian physicist with monitors on
Keeps watching the rooftop where sparrows bank and wheel.

Copyright © Thomas McCarthy 2010


From the Loose Leaves column by CAROLINE WALSH. The Irish Times, Saturday June 19th 2010

Big bash for Maurice Harmon's 80th birthday: The critic and poet Maurice Harmon is one of the most gracious figures on the scene, so it wasn't surprising to see the literati turn out in force for his 80th-birthday celebration in Dublin on Tuesday night.

What was surprising was that he now has eight decades behind him, because Harmon has the appearance of perennial youth. Fittingly, Christopher Murray, a colleague from UCD, where Harmon taught poetry for decades, reminded the throng that we were also celebrating the talents of a man still very much in harness.  Maurice's own work as a poet is an extension of his work as a life-long lover of and commentator on poetry, especially Irish poetry from earliest times to the present. Also there was the poet Tom Kinsella, on whose work Harmon has written extensively. Kinsella is one of a number of contributors to Honouring the Word: Poetry and Prose. Celebrating Maurice Harmon on His 80th Birthday, edited by Barbara Brown, and published by Salmon Poetry for the occasion.

The artwork on the cover is by Harmon's daughter, Maura, entitled Maurice Harmon as a Boy with His Dog Hector at Ardgillan Castle . In his contribution Kinsella writes of his shared beginning in the 1950s with Harmon. Maurice was always an important presence. Our thoughts matched on things that mattered. There were many tributes to his role as an encourager of emerging poets and the value of his essay Advice to a Poet , which remains a mainstay of the Poetry Ireland website. Rosemarie Rowley hailed him as a treasure in the field of Irish studies, open to the birdsong of young poets in a way that was 'tactful yet exacting, encouraging yet bracingly real'. Also launched at the event was Harmon's latest collection of poetry, When Love is Not Enough; New & Selected Poems , also published by Salmon.

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