Poetry Now


On Saturday, The Irish Times Poetry Now Award will be announced in The Irish Times and presented at the Mountains to Sea festival. Today’s shortlisted poet is John Montague.


By John Montague

Cold evenings, as I carried

bristling bundles of straw

from the haggard or

barn to the byre

where the cattle waited,

jangling their chains,

fretful as children in

their wooden stalls,

her path would

often cross mine:

tracks of boots,

trails of straw,

strewing the ground,

from byre to barn –

runic signs of

silent affection.

From Speech Lessons. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Gallery Press.

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