Home Poetry Poetry: Annemarie Ní Churreáin

Poetry: Annemarie Ní Churreáin

photograph, Ruth McKee

“…a poem is a way of happening, a mouth.” (W.H. Auden)

UCD Special Collections, Irish Poetry Reading Archive

Penance

for a girl in trouble 1951

 

‘Shame’.

        Use this word when you speak of love.

 

A man of cloth will come.

Your new home is among brides.

 

Deny

the child inside you is the child you dream at night

 

and when they cut short your hair,

watch the cuts fall

 

like the soft fur of an animal 

held still by threat.

 

Find a pale rose climbing a wall 

and consider yourself 

 

smaller now, 

than even a thorn.

 

In your starched uniform, step into a nameless stream.

Feel the coldness between your thighs.

 

Say aloud: 

‘in this life I am drowning.’

 

‘Penance’ appears in Bloodroot, Doire Press 2017

ANNEMARIE NÍ CHURREÁIN is a poet from the Donegal Gaeltacht. Her publications include Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017) and Town (The Salvage Press, 2018). Her work has been shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland and for the 2018 Julie Suk Award in the U.S.A. She has been awarded literary fellowships by Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany and The Jack Kerouac House of Orlando. Ní Churreáin is a recipient of the Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council and a co-recipient–alongside collaborators Kimberly Campanello and Dimitra Xidous–of the inaugural Markievicz Award. Ní Churreáin was a 2020 Artist in Residence at  Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris. Visit studiotwentyfive.com 

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