Inglenook, a new poem by Michael Longley dedicated to Edna O’Brien

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For Edna O’Brien

Who call yourself ‘the other Edna’,
Come visit me at Carrigskeewaun
And help me count the barnacle geese
And whooper swans. Take my hand,
Balance on slippery stepping-stones
Across the channel at Thallabaun,
Walk with me along the yellow strand
Looking out for dolphins in Clew Bay
(A bitch otter may lope from the waves,
Her whiskers glittering with sea water),
Over the stile in your green wellies
Follow me to the helleborines
At Dooaghtry. Later at Corragaun
We’ll make a moth-trap for tiger moths
And cinnabars and wait in darkness
For inspiring wings. I imagine
For you, dear Edna, ‘the other Edna’,
This inglenook in my landscape.

Michael Longley’s most recent collection is The Stairwell (Cape Poetry)

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