Poetry in time of pandemic

This post is also available in: polski (Polish)

In the Galway University Hospital framed POEMS hanging for years.

Once, when we went to the Emergency Department with my husband, we were sitting in this waiting room with poetry around. And I remember that this little help of poems broke away us from the tension of fears.

At the moment we could cross the borders without moving.

So I strongly believe, that POETRY can be caring for us during a pandemic.

Poetry can be like a trip from our cul-de-sacs to edges of the world to ourselves, and to others. It can help us to accept what we really afraid of.

Poems can give us fun, too. It happened to me and my husband, when we tried to translate works of Irish poet, who nobody has translated to Polish yet. It was a very difficult task BTW, but it motivated me to search for intereseting things about language and also to continue reading Irish poetry books, which I have.

So, now with pleasure I can present to you three poems by Michelle O’Sullivan, a contemporary Irish poet, from her poetry book  “The Blue End of Stars”.

In Michelle’s poems, I find the rough climate of West Ireland in which I currently live. Rain here is like daily bread, grey is very popular colour for the sky, but at same time it is MAGIC OF RAW BEAUTY.  

I invite you to discover. Esspecially, that 21st of March World POETRY DAY is coming.

We could share poems with each other, than. It will be a great pleasure for me if you would like to put some poems in the comments.

Beside the Harbour

The sea on this hour is pale, withdrawn

It moves to make waves, and gives in

to purls, a thread of currents, childlike,

it’s wanting its bed.

Above its face the sky is brightening

clouds stretch and start to shift their banks

the dull weight of grey begins to lift.

The room you sit in is cold,

a fire thinned to a single flame.

You and this room are a sign of life,

not yet beautiful or loved with use.

The sea outside thrives on a wick of desire,

a hidden source that swells and turns;

it is this light I find you in.

An unknow Blue

I want to be still

as a folded note

left on a table

before sunrise,

silent at the crease

concealing words

that will not

have been read

for all intents unopened;

just a strand


on the dark edge of a knife.


The river tonight is glassy,

as if asleep

or pretending to hold its breath.

Peaked stretches of cloud

spread out on the fields

and a scar-faded sky lingers.

There is nothing withered here,

nothing lost in the lampless dusk.

It whispers something primitive,

long-running, well-deep.

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