Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE SHOp Poetry Magazine

The latest issue of THE SHOp poetry magazine from Schull, Co Cork has just arrived. The impressive cover art by Jeanette McCulloch is entitled Tara Hill. I presume this refers to the Hill of Tara, Co Meath and not to Tara Hill, Co Wexford.

An exceptionally well produced magazine, this issue 32 includes an interesting range of poetry. In issue 26 the editor, John Wakeman, did an analysis of themes which predominated in the magazine. This led him to ask for more poetry on politics, war and terrorism. This call has been answered and recent issues have contained a selection of poetry on these topics.

This issue continues that trend with poems by Odessa-born Ilya Kaminsky entitled 9a.m. Bombardment and We Lived Happily During the War, a poem by Monica Corish about her mother getting tipsy to celebrate the losing of his seat by a TD she hated and I Dream of Being Your Dictator on a County Council Ticket by Terry McDonagh which begins:

I am your bank. I made the map. I drew
all the boundaries, paid for lampposts,
cut down forests, wrote statutory laws,
saw to it that town limits
were protected by walls and spotlights.

. . .

I am in charge of your dreams.
I never miss a funeral.

Two poets we have published in Boyne Berries are included. Patricia Byrne has a poem which deals with Obama's inauguration and Synge's walking in the Mullet Peninsula:

In Washington and Erris
ancestors on our tongues.

Deborah Tyler-Bennett is also included.

Michael Longley and Paula Meehan are here as well. Paula's long poem is in terza rima, three lines stanzas with an interlocking rhyming scheme. Indeed, I notice that quite a number of poems in this issue are in three line stanzas though no other one seems to have asimilar rhyming scheme.

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