OVER THE WAY (1)…Padraic Fallon [One of my favourite poems]

Only here if

I look for them; one sauntering forth

In her black shawl or

Pinned to the doorway with the long street

To one eye like a telescope;


The other just a face

Floating in the turnsmoke within;

She was the saint, hobnobbing with the greater galaxies,

Taking credit accordingly

When I passed examinations.


I love them now who never

Saw them really, or unwillingly:  days

They look out of windy November with

The chimneys in a smudge

Of illiterate initials all down the street.


Alive, the darlings, in a sort of love for me;

Penury’s hangovers, yet

How they’d hate this,to be the poor

Relations to a poem, tugged forth from

Their decent anonymity;


Bridget and Delia, spinsters deceased;

Tom brother, the breadwinner, carrying the can,

In the Temperance Hall the Parliamentarian,

And Michael the dandy with the highbred look of hunger

And the delicate impossible languor.


Too late I want to know them now,

Like God a lover, who must share with them forever

This furrow of a street

Full of the ghostly bloom

Of dead semen.



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6 responses to “OVER THE WAY (1)…Padraic Fallon [One of my favourite poems]

  1. » dave

    Wow, doubt is not a curtain, veil or shroud here!

  2. Jane

    Too deep for me Penny… LOL Or is just too late and I should be in bed?

  3. Jessica

    I lke this, Pen, particularly the description of ‘Michael’. And the phrase about the chimneys. I wish the poems I had to study were in such clear English! The last stanza is very moving too.

  4. penny

    Thanks Jessie. I just love this poem. I think it is a poem that lends itself to being read out loud.

  5. Unknown

    I also believe that this is a poem not done full justice when read silently. It’s gorgeous. xx

  6. Happy

    I do not know this poem. 5. Just love the description of chimeys in a smudge of illiterate initials. Great image captured. & his thoughts of ghosts we would now like to meet. Just a great morning read. Thank-you Penny.

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