Sunday, 9 February 2014

New Poems! New Poems!

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hunters in the Snow (Winter), 1565. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

On Friday three of my poems were published in one day, which was a nice record for me. Also a bit of motivation for 2014, because last year I was anything but prolific poetry-wise.

Shot Glass Journal published 'Wicklow Mountains After Rain' and 'Okinawa', here:

The 'Wicklow Mountains' poem is actually ten years old but I always hoped to find a home for it. The final lines are still among my favourites that I've written. 'Okinawa' was written after my trip to that part of Japan a few years ago - it's another travel snapshot, but I also think (and sort of hope) that it might just possibly be the only poem ever written (let alone published) to mention both JMW Turner and Def Leppard. If anyone knows of such another poem, I desperately want to read it.

Josephine Corcoran's wonderful blog/e-zine And Other Poems published my version of Rainer Maria Rilke's French poem 'Winter' (Hiver), here:

I subtitled this "after Rilke" because it was a bit too free to really be a "translation", I think. You can read the original French poem here. I had the (perhaps totally wrong and presumptuous) feeling that this poem was unfinished, that Rilke would like to have worked on it some more. So I think that a lot of the words are mine, building on the original, but the ideas are essentially the same as in Rilke's original poem. I chose not to try to reproduce the end rhymes which appear in the French poem, but my version is far more alliterative than Rilke's. The alliteration is perhaps the aspect in which it is the most my own. It was a very enjoyable poem to create a version of because, as so often with Rilke, his words seemed to speak from his heart to my heart.


  1. 'Wicklow Mountains After Rain' is a splendid poem. How fine that it has found its home! It especially appeals to me during this week of near constant rains--the one sets the mood for the other in an oddly reciprocal way, I suppose. I like the first four lines especially, but the whole work seems to draw me inward, even as it also describes an outward reality, and helps me to examine various aspects of my own recent past in a helpful way. It's your poem, however, and not mine, so I must not read my own concerns into it. I'll be having a look at the Rilke next!

    1. Thank you! It's nice to have written a poem that long ago which still speaks to me - I was in my early twenties, so a lot has happened and changed. It's very evocative of a certain time, place and state of mind that I was in.

      Of course, we will all find our own worlds and feelings in the poems of others, even if it wasn't precisely their feelings or intentions...a lot of this blog is exactly about that.