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The Blue Guitar

Padraig O'Morain

ISBN: 978-1-907056-73-4

Page Count: 74

Publication Date: Friday, June 10, 2011

Cover Artwork: Guitar Strings © Bizroug |

About this Book

In these dynamic, musically-arcing poems Padraig O’Morain weaves his subtle, capturing narratives with the skill and relish of a natural story-teller. The poems in The Blue Guitar conjure all at once both the pathos of the individual human situation and all the echoes of the wider world beyond. Jane Draycott

More Praise for Padraig O’Morain’s poetry

This is a quiet poetry, strong with the humours and occasional horrors of country life, affectionate but never sentimental, its music grave and necessary as time. Alison Brackenbury
The power of these poems isn’t to be underestimated: their apparent simplicity arises from well-digested experience and a habit of accurate observation. Not a word is wasted, but there is tenderness and humour here and a very good ear at work. Meg Peacocke

Author Biography

Padraig O’Morain’s poetry has been published in anthologies and magazines in Ireland and the UK and broadcast on radio. His work gained a Poetry Business award, sponsored by Arts Council England, in 2007 and the twenty winning poems were published as You’ve Been Great (Smith/Doorstop) the following year. He grew up in Ladytown, County Kildare and comes from a family in which poetry has long been appreciated: his father composed verses in his head while he worked in the fields and his grandfather’s poems are still read at family occasions. He lives in Dublin where he works in journalism and psychology. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. He is married with two daughters.

Read a sample from this book

The blue guitar
When the blue guitar came
your dolls had already
become strangers to your hands
slipping without complaint
into the lost corners of childhood.
You picked out the first sounds
and I recalled suddenly
your blue dress catching the sun
as you skipped and sang in a gaggle
of small girls in the playground.
Soon you will skip out of this street
the blue guitar on your back
humming your own melody
looking for your new address.
I will turn and catch the dolls staring.

Slipping in
Dayroom. I watch them meet again in the middle.
‘I don’t like small apples,’ he says. ‘I likes them big and round.’
‘Daddy is waiting at the boathouse,’ she says. ‘We must go down.’
A woman I used to know squints at me from her chair.
She blinks with her usual just-discovered concern.
‘Have you been looked after?’ she asks again.
In the photo I hold up in front of her face
she raises a glass of champagne and laughs.
Hoping for a different answer, ‘Is that you?’ I ask.
‘It must be,’ she says. ‘Have you been looked after?’
‘I don’t like small apples. I likes them big and round.’‘
‘Daddy is at the boathouse. We really must go down.’
I’d like to go down to the boathouse,
float by water past ancient beech, a girl
sipping champagne and laughing on my knee.
Daddy stops rowing and turns to us
‘I’m glad you two finally came down.’
He grins: ‘Try the apples. They’re rotten but they’re big and round.’
It is getting dark in the house of repetitions.
‘Have you been looked after?’ she asks with a sudden frown.
Visiting time is over. Too late to get out now.

Both poems Copyright © Padraig O'Morain 2011

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