Sailing Lake Mareotis
Page Count: 106
Publication Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Cover Artwork: Clouds and coastline © John Matzick | Dreamstime.com
About this Book
Navigating back and forth between cities and rural spaces, America and Ireland, the ancient and modern, the classroom and home, Eamonn Wall’s new collection presents a many-sided exploration of a fine and fractured world. A centerpiece of Sailing Lake Mareotis is “Actaeon’s Return,” a reworking of Ovid set in a nightmarish Ireland of the future. In a gathering of lyrics, sequences, satires, and flash-fictions, Eamonn Wall explores intricate ways in which contemporary attitudes and practices honour and defile what has been inherited from the past.
Praise for Wall’s previous collection
A Tour of Your Country:
Eamonn Wall has become one of the most prominent and exciting contemporary voices of the Irish-American experience. He has an intimate understanding of what it means to be neither here nor there, and his words pull us toward new places. A Tour of Your Country reminds us that we are all linked to foggy roads elsewhere, and it celebrates displacement with the exuberant joy of a homecoming. An Sionnach
A hugely impressive collection. RTE Guide
Wall’s unique achievement is to understand that landscape is culture. The book’s final poem, “Leaving Boise”, though ostensibly describing a road-trip away from the city, stitches personal experience into the wider history of Irish emigration. Not only the US but Ireland is full of wonders and pleasures for this generous writer. The Irish Times
A native of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Eamonn Wall was educated at University College Dublin, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the City University of New York, where he received a Ph.D. in English.
Eamonn Wall’s poetry and prose have been included in anthologies in Ireland and the United States including The Book of Irish-American Poetry from the 18th Century to the Present; Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century: a Reader; Wexford Through its Writers; Flood Stage: An Anthology of St. Louis Poets; and The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers.
Essays, articles, and reviews of Irish, Irish American, and American writers have appeared in The Irish Times, New Hibernia Review, Irish Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, South Carolina Review, and other journals.
Through his involvement in the Launchpad and Scallta Media initiatives, which he helped set up to encourage the development of young writers and artists in Co. Wexford, he has continued to play a role in the artistic life of Co. Wexford. Eamonn Wall lives in Missouri, where he teaches at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Eamonn Wall’s website is www.eamonnwall.net.
Read a sample from this book
THE LAST CRICKET OF THE SEASON
after Elizabeth Bishop
When I catch a cricket’s high
autumnal pitch sprung from
among a row of ragged junipers,
my heart seeks out the levelest
and most insistent, homeward
foot and yard to my front door.
On Missouri’s warmest days,
these many free and careless
years, I have often paused for
shade under a great oak tree
to observe pairs of doves that
quietly group under this same
line of evergreens. My children
have grown and spread, my
sweetheart is at home stirring
alone a late martini, and cars
roar to the westward freeway
bound for glory and California:
I grow invisible or gray which
is just the same difference as
they say. But this cricket’s call
rocks my world—Jimi Hendrix,
Rolling Stones. Though cold
and colder this evening’s air, I
can still pitch high, and I can
swing homeward, as if immortal.
EVENING ON A BACK ROAD
Scattered sheets of cloud and a late burst of sunlight
tangle with tree limb and oak leaf between the seaside
and Camolin. I drive blinded again on the back road
by an old sun falling away to the Blackstairs’ mast.
For all these years along this route, I have called out
to a fat church spire at the end of a line of yew trees
that never could despoil the ripened shamelessness
of fields bedded on layers of wet marl. Beasts heave
and breathe, the road bends over the humped bridge.
This road is within me, so blindly drifting: it is itself
& the wind’s lone gray substitute, as full of movement
as the railway’s sleepers are dipped in creosote and
fixed to a narrow gauge. Cows swing from the church
bell’s rope. Sugar beets bolt from the ground. As the
strawberry absorbs the dew, the widower discounts
the news. The priest’s housekeeper has turned-up his
stereo to twenty-five. Meeting the River Bann at the
main road, I pick from neon each yellow of the village:
A petrol station, Wexford flags, and the Parkside Bar.
So then! The road straightens. The car picks up speed.
Copyright © Eamonn Wall 2012