Dennis O'Driscoll is an Irish poet, essayist, critic, and editor born in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland. Although not widely recognized in the United States, he is considered one of the best European poets of his time. In all, he has written eight books of poetry, two chapbooks, and a collection of essays and reviews. Additionally, much of O'Discoll's work has been inspire by his friend and mentor, Nobel Prize winner, Seamus Heaney.The majority of his works can be characterized by the use of economic language and the recurring motifs of mortality and the fragility of everyday life. As he ages, O'Driscoll's works become more fluid and thoughtful as well as more frequent, and, according to... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Dennis O'Driscoll Poems
His grace is no longer called for before meals: farmed fish multiply without His intercession. Bread production rises through
Life gives us something to live for: we will do
The Celtic Tiger
Ireland’s boom is in full swing. Rows of numbers, set in a cloudless blue computer background, prove the point.
Tomorrow I will start to be happy. The morning will light up like a celebratory cigar. Sunbeams sprawling on the lawn will set dew sparkling like a cut-glass tumbler of champagne.
Forever some customer happy to sing along with the supermarket muzak, no matter how hackneyed or crass. Forever the plangent sound of a motorcycle in the early hours, conjuring a world you once had access to.
Time for sleep. Time for a nightcap of grave music, a dark nocturne, a late quartet, a parting song, bequeathed by the great dead in perpetuity.
The Next Poem
My next poem is quite short and it’s about something most of you will recognise. It came out of an experience I had on holiday a couple of years ago. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m correct in saying that it’s the only poem I’ve ever managed to write during my holidays
someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out
The August day you wake to takes you by surprise. Its bitterness. Black sullen clouds. Brackish downpour. A drift-net of wetness enmeshes the rented cottage, towels and children’s swimwear sodden on the line.
After Miroslav Holub It’s much cushier when it’s raining rabbits than cats and dogs. The animals for experiment should not betray too much intelligence.
Comments about Dennis O'Driscoll
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
His grace is no longer called for
before meals: farmed fish multiply
without His intercession.
Bread production rises through
disease-resistant grains devised
scientifically to mitigate His faults.
Yet, though we rebelled against Him
like adolescents, uplifted to see
an oppressive father banished -
a bearded hermit - to the desert,
we confess to missing Him at times.
Miss Him during the civil wedding
when, at the blossomy altar
of the registrar’s desk, we wait in vain
to be fed a line containing words
like ‘everlasting’ and ...