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  • Dr.Pragya Suman

Poem of the Week

Updated: Jan 28, 2022


by Donall Dempsey

His eyes

lay on the ground

His smile

scattered all around

A curious crow

was picking his nose.

His nose had become

the orange vegetable it was

before it was

his nose.

His bobble hat

drowned in a puddle.

The sun shone

innocent as anything.

My snowman

was dead

I snatched up his hat

which only yesterday was


I left the carrot

to the curious crow

His eyes dark as coal

followed me as I

walked away

trying not to cry

but crying.

Analysed by Peter Green

Donall Dempsey's poem is a beguiling childhood memory of a favourite snowman he made as a child melting in the sun, one Christmas. A sinister touch is added with the image of the "...curious crow/ His eyes dark as coal" and there is a poignant touch also as Donal "...walked away/trying not to cry/but crying". Sometimes, the most powerful poems are the simplest and most heartfelt, and Donal Dempsey's poem is a good example of that. The theme is also indicative of the transience or impermanence of happy times.

Biography: Dónall Dempsey was born in the Curragh of Kildare, Ireland, and was Ireland’s first Poet in Residence in a secondary school. He has read on Irish radio and appeared on TV there. He moved to London in 1986 and has continued to write and perform his poetry ever since. He is well known for his dynamic delivery when reading, his surreal imagery and his tenderness, a poet in love with the world. He has a strong presence online, and publishes a poem every day on Facebook, Twitter and in online groups. In pre-covid days, he was to be found at poetry festivals in France, New Delhi, Ireland, the Edinburgh Free Fringe, Cheltenham and Swindon, among others.

Dónall’s poetry has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies and journals, both online and in print. He has published five collections, Sifting Shape into Sound, Being Dragged Across the Carpet by the Cat, The Smell of Purple in 2013, and Gerry Sweeney’s Mammy, and Crawling Out and Falling Up, the fifth, which was published in November 2020.

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