Wednesday, 15 July 2009



I saw magic on a green country road -

That old woman, a bag of sticks her load,


Blackly down to her thin feet a fringed shawl,

A rosary of bone on her horned hand,

A flight of curlews scribing by her head,

And ashtrees combing with their frills her hair.


Her eyes, wet sunken holes pierced by an awl,

Must have deciphered her adoring land:

And curlews, no longer lean birds, instead

Become ten scarlet comets in the air.


Some incantation from her canyoned mouth,

Irish, English, blew frost along the ground,

And even though the wind was from the South

The ashleaves froze without an ashleaf sound.


Michael Hartnett
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peter said...

Hi Gerard,
I enjoyed reading the Michael Hartnett poem. I was out in Newcastle West earlier today. Fintan O'Toole gave a fascinating talk about Michael Hartnett's poetry.

Do you live in Limerick? I saw a photo of the Hunt Museum on your blog.

Dew of Hermon said...

Thanks Peter, Yes I live in Limerick city and Im so sorry to have missed the Eigse weekend in Newcastlewest, maybe next year.