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Friday, March 16, 2012

Poetry Friday--"Irish Sweaters"

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I came across a awesome book of pictures and poetry called Ireland in Poetry (edited by Charles Sullivan) [821.008 IRE].

Here is one of the poems from the book that I think is particularly poignant:
Irish Sweaters
by Shirley Graves Cochrane

"Ladies and gentlemen--
the sweaters of old Ireland!"
and down the runway come
Maeve and Erin and the other Dublin models
hips switching, eyes scorning
and Maurice, sheepish in his cowl.
"Each household has its special pattern--
you could tell a family sweater anywhere."

Aye--even at the bottom of the sea:
for grannies knit the shrouds of grandson
fishermen who never learned to swim
(to keep the agony of drowning short).
And long after the eyes were gone
and fish explored the geography of skull
the sweaters held and told us who they were--
Cormac and Tom and even Donovan.

See how the stitches knit the bones together.

Join the fun at this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up being held at GottaBook.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress (click on the image to see it larger).


  1. Wow - what a poem. Thanks for sharing. I have an Irish offering today, too, from Eavan Boland.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day - might it be lighter than both of these poems!

  2. Let's hope so, Robyn!

  3. Replies
    1. Yes, Ruth. It certainly said more than enough in very few, gut-wrenching words.