Seed, a poem for Greta Thunberg


(First published in The Irish Times, 31 August 2019)

And here is a Spanish translation with sincere thanks to Adam Gai:

The Children of Alcoholics (a poem)

“I think that’s what the purpose of poems is, to step outside of easy and polite conversation, and sometimes to say something ... that begins in shock but afterwards ends in intimacy.”
On the latest episode of the podcast Words Lightly Spoken, Pat Boran considers the “emotional truth” of poetry before reading his recent poem ‘The Children of Alcoholics’.

An Interview in The Examiner, July 2019

'My biggest challenge in life so far has been keeping optimistic.' An interview on making poems, and other matters, published in The Examiner, July 2019. READ IT HEREPB

Detached Lyricism and Universal Rootednes: Essay and Interview by Dr. Pilar Villar Argaiz

Detached Lyricism and Universal Rootedness: A Critical Introduction to the Poetry of Pat Boran by Pilar Villar Argaiz
In June 2019 STUDI IRLANDESI published an extended critical article on my work as well as an interview by Dr. Pilar Villar Argaiz. Sincere thanks to both the writer and to Studi Irlandesi editor Fiorenzo Fantaccini for all they do for Irish writers and writing.
For anyone who might be interested, Studi Irlandesi may be downloaded, free of charge, in PDF format by visiting and clicking on the Download button on the top right of the page.


A review of Then Again in The Irish Times

Martina Evans reviews Then Again in The Irish Times, 01 June 2019

Pat Boran’s seventh poetry collection, Then Again (€12.50, Dedalus Press), is described by the publisher as a mini Odyssey. The poems travel outwards taking in Paris, Sicily, Cyrus and Ireland, often focusing on paintings in galleries and churches or objects in museums. A magnificent prose poem for “an old friend … who fell in love with compost” meditates on “Death and the remaking of the world”. The fermentation and renewal that occurs in compost layers, especially “the gradual return” of growth, is central to Boran’s odyssey.
Like Homer’s, the journey is all about return. This is beautifully, neatly expressed in The Password, where a couple try and fail to remember a password, then “ … somehow, with the cuff of my shirt sleeve/I manage accidentally to touch Return/and as simple as that it opens and we’re in … ”
There are many returns here. In Virgin of the Crossroads poet turns a bend “to find her/stood there still/ in this winter’s night, a solitary girl/waiting for her bus,/her face beatific/in the light of her mobile phone.” There is a tremendous amount of warmth here in fine elegies for friends and all humanity. Boran’s gaze is equally tender resting on the fellow travellers in Stalled Train and Bus Stop or a 19th-century Indian painting as he finds parallels across distance and time.
In Race Meeting, Baldoyle, a photographed couple spring from the page, “He smokes, she holds/something beneath her nose, a sprig … ” the ending miraculously conjuring “the one thing that the photograph commemorates/ but has no chance of capturing: their breath”. References to breath and lungs recur frequently in these existential poems. Desire is a visual, convincing argument for human connections. Boran’s characteristic light touch is exquisitely deft. He opens intriguingly, “Lift the roof off this row of houses/and who might we prove to be:” before an assortment of characters appear and then, the sonnet turns or “zooms in … that could be you and me down there, /waltzing around our steam-filled kitchen/as if on the deck of an ocean liner/inching outwards through the thickening fog.”

Selected poems in Portuguese transation

o sussurro da corda (the swoosh of the rope) is a selection of my poems, beautifully translated by Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho, published by Eufeme in December 2018, and available here.

A review of Then Again (2019) on RTÉ Culture

"These are splendid poems, comprehensive and wide-ranging in their subjects and themes, profound in their feeling, making for one of the finest collections to appear in recent times."

Read Patrick Kehoe's complete review on RTÉ Culture here.

Video: 'Lining Out', a film by RTÉ Sport

I was surprised and shocked when this video, produced by RTÉ Sport, and built around an audio recording of my poem Lining Out, went viral in 2018 during the week of the All-ireland Senior Football final, with over a quarter of a million views in a few days. It's a testament, I think, to how images can be sensitively matched to words, to make something with a power all its own.