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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

File na hAlban - Scottish Poet Don Paterson gets the queen of England's seal of approval

“It is apt to say, in the case of Paterson, that it never rains but it pours: his latest volume of poems, Rain, won the prestigious Forward Poetry Prize for the Best Collection last year and now he has been recognised by the Crown, not only for that book but also for his whole body of work.”
The Times newspaper of England, January 2010



Moonlight snuffed

Why would you want
the smarmy recognition?
Why would you want
the extraordinary rendition?

You with the power to turn Rain
into celluloid, blazing lines, and back again

You with the regal thread in your veins
Soul brother Celt and comrade

You who could roll out moonlight
along the shore of my mind

Why would you be wanting
a queen's gold medal?

Why would you not be a rebel?

None of this, none of this matters
in the realm of the poet’s Parallax
Be a man in your ain book
and send back the poisoned chalice.

@ Paul Larkin

Baile Átha Cliath
An Cháisc 2010

(I waited until Easter 2010 before publishing this poem, in the apparently vain hope that Don Paterson would announce that he could not accept the English Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry.)

The Times of London article quoted can be read at

Also see this useful biog at -

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Title: File na hAlban - Scottish Poet Don Paterson gets the queen of England's seal of approval
Date posted: 28 Mar '10 - 09:54
Filed under: General
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