The Tuesday Poem

Poet Patrick Cotter

Madra

The dog who read books had nowhere
in his brain for the words to go.

As they streamed in through his eyes, line
by line they re-emerged through each

fibre in his fur with a yelp.
He watched his master’s noiseless act

of reading and copied him as
best he could turning the pages

by swishing his nose, swivelling
his head from side to side and top

to bottom over each page. Words
of English left him a shiny,

glistening coat but Irish words left
him with the most peculiar

smell, attracting the barks in par-
ticular of wolfhounds and red

setters, water spaniels, Kerry
Blues, and the keening of priests who

prayed only in hidden ditches
near forgotten limestone mass rocks.

* Patrick Cotter is the director of Munster Literature Centre, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival and the Cork Spring Poetry Festival. His poem ‘Madra’ won the Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry 2013.


Lifestyle

Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students mustn’t be forced to go through the motions with state exams, and we need creative thinking to find alternatives fast, writes mother and educator Ellie O’Byrne.Policy fail? Insistence that state exams go ahead in June is glib and ignorant

Yes, we all need to stay at home but that doesn't mean your children have to be bored, says Michelle McGlynnWorld of wonder: What to do with the children outdoors

Over the next three weeks, I am going to outline how you can support yourself and your family over this period of lockdown, writes Richard Hogan.Learning Points: Keeping children on a healthy and happy regime

As we are settling into our new routines of self isolation, staying at home and home schooling it feels that a whole new set of pressures is coming down the tracks.Mum's The Word: Pressure to be productive in a world of online classes

More From The Irish Examiner