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I Imagine Myself / Celeste Augé

I Imagine Myself

By: Celeste Augé

€12.00
I Imagine Myself is for anyone who has ever imagined they were someone (or something) else. A powerful collection that asserts the freedom to have a visible midlife as a woman, to have difficulties in a relationship and work through them, and to weather the storms of ageing. In ambitious and dynamic poems, I Imagine Myself gives voice to the experience of trying to discover a new self, tracing an arc through illness, middle ag...
ISBN 978-1-915022-24-0
Pub Date Thursday, February 16, 2023
Cover Image ‘From Inside the Cave’, oil painting by Caitriona O’Leary
Page Count 64
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I Imagine Myself is for anyone who has ever imagined they were someone (or something) else. A powerful collection that asserts the freedom to have a visible midlife as a woman, to have difficulties in a relationship and work through them, and to weather the storms of ageing. In ambitious and dynamic poems, I Imagine Myself gives voice to the experience of trying to discover a new self, tracing an arc through illness, middle age, connections to other people and the natural world.


"Celeste Augé’s witty and intelligent poetry treats serious subjects with a light touch, allowing her to investigate and tease out her subjects with impressive verve and energy. Her controlled, narrative-driven poems deal with the everyday in an imaginative, outspoken and engaging manner. Augé is a woman journeying through life with an unflinching gaze, seeking out what the world expects of a middle-aged woman and her place in 21st century society and often upending the expectations.

     Jean O’Brien, author of Fish on a Bicycle: New & Selected Poems


‘Charged with imagination and emotional honesty, Celeste Augé explores the intimacies of her body, at the whim of hormones, with craft and self-awareness. Storms, external and internal, whip through these pages, swirling up ‘brain fog’, intimations of mortality, at a time when ‘we carry our pains around like sacks filled with cats’. There is no superfluous poem here, each one acutely observed, replete with illuminated images, limned by an exacting hand. A real gem.’

Geraldine Mills, author of An Urgency of Stars and Bone Road


‘What is so beautiful about these poems is the ice brilliant truth that our lives have our lonely ghost selves living beside us, dipping into our reality every so often and knifing us with regret, despair, joy, love and acceptance.’

Orla Foyle, author of Belios and Red Riding Hood’s Dilemma

Celeste Augé

Celeste Augé is the author of The Essential Guide to Flight (Salmon Poetry, 2009) and the collection of short stories Fireproof and Other Stories (Doire Press, 2012). The World Literature Review has said: ‘Celeste Augé’s poems are commendable for their care, deep thought, and intellectual ambition.’
She works in the area of adult education, teaching creative writing to undergraduates at NUI Galway as well as tutoring with a local Adult Learning Centre.
Celeste has a Masters degree in writing from NUI Galway. Her poetry has been short-listed for a Hennessy Award, and she received a Literature Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to write Skip Diving. In 2011, she won the Cúirt New Writing Prize for fiction. She lives in Connemara, in the West of Ireland, with her husband and son. 

Dog Daisy 


I imagine myself as a tiger lily,
golden,rich with fertile pollen,
exotic and beautiful.


I assume the form of a dahlia,
floriferous, substantial, ornamental,
ready to be cut and shown.


I insinuate myself into a carnation,
ruffled and ubiquitous, always thirsty,
drinking in every last drop.


I try on the dog daisy’s petals,
lift out one white ray flower, then another
until I am twirling in the rare sunshine,


Bright yellow at my core, lover of scrub,
Infertile ground, popping up alongside
stone walls, in ditches, anywhere


I will be forgotten. Overlooked.
A scrappy dog daisy—contrary, defiant—
I hide my torn leaves, my insecurities,


my fear of self exposure.
I bloom best where I’m not wanted.
He loves me, he loves me not.


These are the games I play.
Some days he loves me,
some days he loves me not.


I am a flower made up of flowers
—tubular flowers, ray flowers—
I am more flowers than I seem,


complicated beneath this smile,
this sunny glance, here, alongside
the couch grass and nettles.



Brain Fog


I hear the wrong words before I realise—
How about some dishwasher for dinner?
Or, would you prefer some panic?
The randomness—nouns for nouns,
or unconnected adjectives—startles me.
I’ve seen what dementia does,
and I know this is not the same.
But—my words!—how can this be
the stuff of jokes?The doctors say:
Women your age. Stress.
But why would my brain decide
to remap my entire language, move
my words into the wrong places?


Its use of glucose is muddled,
hypometabolism, in spite of decades of cake.
The rest of me slows down too.
My brain and me, we’re ageing, gaining
unnecessary cells, rapidly, together.
We fantasise about antioxidants and exercise.
Autophagy and the disintegration of amyloid beta.
Increased volumes of grey matter, white matter.
Any kind of matter, we’d take it all.


The Night Fox


The night fox stalks across our garden—
she’s young, bushy-tailed and small,
unburdened by pups.


I want to warn her—
watch out for lovely girls in red hoodies,
bright lies and people in ties. Watch out for
anyone who tries to tell you what to do,
        how to speak,
        what to say.
        Play games your way.


She trots—no, struts—in the rousing darkness,
aims for something I can’t see.


A future mate is out there. Hunters and farmers.
Her grandmother’s ghost. Little Red Nike Hood.
The omens are there under the full moon.


She will be too proud, too different, she will
stand out too much.
        Her red coat will mark her out.
Others will tell her to tone it down a bit,
don’t be so loud, conform, at least try to fit in.


I want to tell her—
keep your head in the clouds, hold it high,
jive through fields of sheep, ignore the scent
of rubbish bins, of past lovers, of leftovers,
avoid husbands and houses and fetters
every night of your immortal life.

Other Titles from Celeste Augé

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