Column 23

Poetry that is self-conscious runs the risk of sounding like the worst kind of navel gazing. But when it works, as it does in this poem by C.L. Dallat, it gives the reader a special jolt of recognition to realise they’re being addressed directly. The poem is from Dallat’s collection Morning Star, published by Lagan Press; his latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing by Blackstaff Press.

San Nicolo Dei Mendicoli

Strange when we’ve talked so much of death
in a water-girt city, been brought here by Mann,
pomade and tears, when our night walks echo
with Roeg’s brutal ending, (Sutherland’s end),
strange we should flinch,
—————————–just that,
—————————————to see
one tourist video a water-borne funeral
arrive at the quay, feel ashamed to gawp
as family gathers with confraternity banners
and flowerless coffin.
—————————Stranger still then
I should write this.


Used with kind permission of C.L.Dallat and Lagan Press.