Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin
Biography of Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (born 28 November 1942) is an Irish poet born in Cork (city).
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is the daughter of Eilís Dillon and Professor Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin. She was educated at University College Cork and The University of Oxford. She lives in Dublin with her husband Macdara Woods, and they have one son, Niall. She is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin where she is an associate professor of English Literature specialising in the Renaissance. She is a founder of the literary magazine Cyphers. Her first collection won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1973. In 2010 The Sun-fish was the winner of the Canadian-based International Griffin Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award.
Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin Poems
Crossing the Loire
I saluted the famous river as I do every year Turning south as if the plough steered, Kicking, at the start of a new furrow, my back To the shady purple gardens with benches under plum trees By the river that hunts between piers and sandbanks— I began threading the long bridge, I bowed my head And lifted my hands from the wheel for an instant of trust, I faced the long rows of vines curving up the hillside Lightly like feathers, and longer than the swallow's flight, My road already traced before me in a dance Of three nights and three days, Of sidestepping hills and crescent lights blinding me (If there was just a bar counter and ice and a glass, and a room upstairs: But it rushed past me and how many early starts before The morning when the looped passes descend to the ruined arch?) She came rising up out of the water, her eyes were like sandbanks The wrinkles in her forehead were like the flaws in the mist (maybe a long narrow boat with a man lying down and a rod and line like a frond of hair dipping in the stream) She was humming the song about the estuary, and the delights Of a salt ocean, the lighthouse like a summons; and she told me: The land will not go to that measure, it lasts, you'll see How the earth widens and mountains are empty, only With tracks that search and dip, from here to the city of Rome Where the road gallops up to the dome as big as the sun. You will see your sister going ahead of you And she will not need to rest, but you must lie In the dry air of your hotel where the traffic grinds before dawn, The cello changing gear at the foot of the long hill, And think of the story of the suitors on horseback Getting ready to trample up the mountain of glass.
He lay plunged in the funnel of a beanbag, The glass in his hand as deep as a fjord. The other went out to answer the telephone,
The cloister of bones
I begin from the highest point, Best of all a belltower. I see the tops of heads, cobbles, Terraces all scuttling down
Man watching a woman
The sound of everything folding into sleep, A sense of being nowhere at all, Set him on his way (traffic far off, and wind In tall trees) to a back gate, a dark yard.
Letter to pearse hutchinson
I saw the islands in a ring all round me And the twilight sea travelling past Uneasy still. Lightning over Mount Gabriel: At such a distance no sound of thunder.
If I produce paralysis in verse Where anger would be more suitable, Could it be because my education
The tale of me
The child's teeth click against the marble. Her ear is crushed cold against the slab, The dredged flour almost brushed by her hair She traces with her eye her mother's hand.
When I heard the voice on the radio All of a sudden announcing the captives were free I was holding my young cousin Forcibly down with two arms
The cloister of bones
I begin from the highest point,
Best of all a belltower.
I see the tops of heads, cobbles,
Terraces all scuttling down
As if they hunted something buried
Between ledges where tables are set in the morning,
Under plants that grow over walls and pergolas,
The slopes of sheds, the stashed pruning-shears,