Pillar Talk by Colette Bryce: A poem for #readingirelandmonth20

This evening’s poem comes from Colette Bryce, a poet from Derry, Northern Ireland.


She has published five poetry collections including The Full Indian Rope Trick (Picador, 2004) and Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008). The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), which draws on her experience of growing up in Derry during the Troubles, was shortlisted for the Costa and Forward prizes and received a Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney.

Selected Poems (2017) was a PBS Special Commendation and winner of the Pigott Prize for Irish poetry. Colette is the incoming editor of Poetry Ireland Review in 2020. Her new collection, The M Pages, is published by Picador this March.


Pillar Talk by Colette Bryce

That magician
who stationed himself on a pillar

over Manhattan
for thirty-five hours

knows nothing whatever
of loneliness,

or how it is
for people like us

who have no soft acre
of cardboard boxes

not even the eggshell
flashbulbs of the press

or the well-meant antics
of neighbours with a mattress

to temper the thought
of the hard, hard earth

to break the fall

nothing at all.

Ireland Month Irish Literature

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9 Comments Leave a comment

  1. What a ‘gripping’ poem by Colette. It is wonderful to hear about Irish writers when i’m so far away. May i mention another Irish writer, Jaki McCarrick? Her essay about her play ‘Belfast Girls’ will appear, i hope, in next months (7April) tintean.org.au


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