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,
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.