Eavan Boland's visions of Dublin

In a book that marks her 70th birthday, the poet has paired her poems about her native city with her own photographs

Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

 

THE SCAR

The scar by Eavan Boland

Dawn on the river.
Dublin rises out of what reflects it.

Anna Liffey
looks to the east, to the sea,
her profile carved out by the light
on the old Carlisle bridge

I was five when a piece of glass
cut my head and left a scar.
Afterwards my skin felt different.

And still does on these autumn days when
the mist hides the city
from the Liffey.

The Liffey hides
the long ships, the muskets and the burning domes.
Everything but this momentary place. And those
versions of the Irish rain
which change the features
of a granite face.

If colony is a wound what will heal it?
After such injuries
what difference do we feel?

No answer in the air,
on the water, in the distance.
And yet

Emblem of this old,
torn and traded city,
altered by its river, its weather,
I turn to you as if there were.

One flawed head towards another.

This poem is one of five selected from Eavan Boland's new collection A Poet's Dublin, with photographs by the author. Published by carcanet Press.

Next: Witness

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