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If Ever You Go
[A] map of the city's imagination
– Evening Herald
IF EVER YOU GO: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song is a major verse anthology from Dedalus Press in which editors Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth present a unique invitation to explore, street by street, one of the world's most famous literary cities through the poems and songs it has inspired down the ages.
A virtual tour of the city and environs, If Ever You Go takes the reader on a journey through streets broad and narrow, featuring verse both familiar and new, historical and contemporary, by writers whose work adds up to an intimate and revealing portrait of a place and its people. Contributors include poets already synonymous with the city — Swift, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Clarke and Kavanagh among them — as well as a host of others, including Kinsella, Heaney, Boland, Bolger and Meehan, who have made some part of it their own.
Street singers and balladeers rub shoulders with haiku and performance poets in an anthology that has its heart set on the very streets we live, work and play on. Groundbreaking in reach, celebratory in outlook, If Ever You Go is a record of the connections and epiphanies, the morning visions and the late-night wanderings that between them make up a map of a city where poetry truly matters. BUY
Something in the corner of your eye,
ditch-edge, a small bright blur
you almost miss, glanced at, going by
and then a second time, momentary
distraction from the road ahead, wheel-whirr;
something on the corner. And you eye
the fresh bouquet. Somebody will tie
another here tomorrow, the day after;
someone who’ll never miss a chance, going by
this asphalt curve to stop, to wonder why
he hadn’t stopped in time, the driver
who’d seen something in the corner of his eye
before he’d braked, the screeching geometry
of one life arcing to avoid another
and almost missing, bumper’s glance going by
and now no going back. You straighten, lonely:
how this sudden turn becomes a tear
somewhere, in the corner of an eye,
a loved one missed; a chance gone by.
(from On Water by John O'Donnell, May 2014)