Pick-a-Poem: Eamon Grennan


Welcome, blog readers, to another installment of our sometimes-weekly feature, “Pick-a-Poem.” On most Wednesdays here at the blog, we pick a poem to feature for your reading pleasure. These poems come from the very helpful website, Poetry Daily, which features a new poem every day without fail. This week we’re featuring Oystercatchers in Flight by Eamon Grennan. Grennan does some interesting things with language in this featured poem, so I hope you all enjoy reading it.

According to his bio page, Eamon Grennan has published ten collections of his work, all of them with The Gallery Press. These collections include Still Life with Waterfall and Out of Breath, which was shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award. He has also translated the poems of Leopardi, for which he won the PEN award in translation. He’s a Dublin-born poet who taught at Vassar College for many years.

Oystercatchers in Flight by Eamon Grennan

Sea’s stony greenblue shatters to white
in a running swell under noonsky of cloudlight
where on a foamed-over cropping of rock
a band of oystercatchers faces all one way
into a nor’wester so shafts of windlight
ignite each orange beak in this abiding
tribe of black till you clap and their risen black
turns white as they veronica on wind and
then away with them (shrill-pitched as frighted
plovers only harsher more excited)
and riding the stiff wind like eager lovers straining
into its every last whim: its pulsing steady
heart-push in every flesh-startling open-eyed
long-extended deepening sea-breath.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem! For more posts like this one, click right here.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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