The Last Regatta
ISBN: 1 903392 08 X
Page Count: 80
Publication Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001
About this Book
Maurice Harmon's poetry ranges from recreations of an idyllic pastoral world on the Ardgillan estate in north County Dublin to memories of psychological numbing at boarding school to scenes of intellectual and sexual challenges and confusions at University College, Dublin. These local settings and experiences contrast with lyrics about the mystery and beauty of Japanese culture and the mythopoeic sequences in A Stillness at Kiawah. One of these draws analogies between the experience of the native American Kiowas and the Irish experience of similar injustice and dispossession; the other explores the cruelties and intensities of a sexual relationship in a post-colonial world.
Maurice Harmon, Emeritus Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature at University College Dublin, is a distinguished critic, biographer, editor, literary historian, and poet. He has edited No Author Better Served. The Correspondence between Samuel Beckett and Alan Schneider (1998) and has translated the medieval Irish compendium of stories and poems The Colloquy of the Old Men (2001). He has written studies of several Irish writers, including SeŠn O'FaolŠin, Austin Clarke, and Thomas Kinsella and edited the ground-breaking anthology Irish Poetry After Yeats. His Selected Essays (2006) contains articles on William Carleton, Mary Lavin, John Montague, and contemporary Irish poetry. A study of Thomas Kinsella as poet and translator, Thomas Kinsella. Designing for the Exact Needs, was published in March, 2008. His poetry collections include The Last Regatta (2000), The Doll with Two Backs and other poems (2004) and The Mischievous Boy and other poems (2008).
Read a sample from this book
The Last Regatta
Letter to My Daughter
The cold up north drove them back at us.
They slithered across the path beside our feet,
burst through screens, breaking and entering.
The place so musty we slept on the gallery floor,
conscious of timber racked behind our heads,
of rustling, slitherings along the roof.
Silence stopped me when we came back here.
Sevenday locusts no longer had hysterics,
no longer blundered from the cherry trees.
Spider hammocks sagged like fallen floors
in disused rooms. Sated dragon flies
no longer rode with swallows or with bats.
When you told me your friend was dead,
that was the seasons final emptying,
good days drained, cold along the boards.
I sit by the pond
in the spell of ripple and fly
stand under trees
in the poignancy of leaves
in the fluency of stems
feel the stone's tremor
in the drain of waves
see pitch and stress
in the spider's web
in a grain of sand
discover an air
as the avenue of yew
(Copyright Maurice Harmon 2000. All Rights Reserved.)