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March 29, 2019


#Ireland: Poetry

by N@ncy


  1. I have been struggling with poetry since December 2017
  2. I read:
  3. Poetry for Dummies (reference with basic glossary etc)
  4. Why Poetry?    (review)
  5. The Hatred of Poetry  – Ben Lerner (86 pg)
  6. And I have learned so much from watching simple
  7. ‘learn poetry videos’…on You Tube for young school children!
  8. So last night I tried to gather my strength and apply what I learned to
  9. …a poem by the Irishman Dermot Healy.
  10. It is the forward for his book
  11. Dermot Healy Collected Short Stories (2015)


  1. I looked at the stanza’s tired to discover rhythm in the line breaks.
  2. There are no line breaks….the poem is one long sentence.
  3. There was no rhyme… not even eye rhyme that would help me.
  4. The first line “Feeling for the right word
  5. reminded met of  “Feeling into Words”, an essay in Preoccupations
  6. Seamus Heaney.
  7. Heaney was Dermot Healy’s mentor.


  1. I found a few images that seemed to
  2. …lead me to the theme of of the poem.
  3. But it was getting late…I turned out the lights.
  4. I shut the book
  5. So what was the main idea in the poem?
  6. Well, the saying ‘sleep on it’ does really work.
  7. I discovered that Healy was
  8. …describing his writing process
  9. as a physical experience!


  1. Images of a
  2. lost limb,  fingers,  being breathless,  young flesh
  3. blood through the veins,  exercise (writing) as healing.
  4. It was fascinating to finally  find something in the poem
  5. that just  hours ago
  6. were  only words, sounds and shapes.
  7. This may seem trifle…something of small importance
  8. …but it is a giant leap for me towards
  9. appreciating poetry!
  10. #ReadAPoem


The Lost Limb

  • Feeling for the right word
  • Leave me breathless for the many
  • As if through a lost limb sewn on    (image)
  • Feeling gradually grew


  • Through cold young flesh
  • Lit some fingers with old identity
  • And excitement, while others
  • Craved possession


  • Of life withheld,
  • Hung awkwardly till breathing as one
  • The first words came like blood   (image)
  • Down distressed veins


  • And, with a healing yaw,
  • New writing began like an exercise  (image)
  • Over and back across the empty yard
  • Turn, start all over.



Read more from Ireland, poetry

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