Poem of the Week, with congrats to Conor O’Callaghan

We’re pleased to share the news that Conor O’Callaghan’s The Sun King has been shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now award. The winner will be announced at the Mountains to Sea DLR Book Festival on September 13th.

To cheer him on, we’re posting the title poem. For more about The Sun King, check out this excellent interview with Conor O’Callaghan. Congratulations, Conor!

The Sun King

I wanted his sky-blue Ford, its sheetrock, its transmission issues.
I listened to his low-down yodelling skimming sunk studs
and snake rattles like wind chimes round his mantle in the hills
and parables waiting for windows to arrive where some lunchbox
was always asked what sort of lunchbox he took Roy for.
Le roi soleil.
It stuck, from first coming with a bucket of mud
to the day of reckoning his lady friend brought marble cake
and Roy joined hands in a ring that all lost rooms be filled
by a sun to which even the godless among us could say Amen.

Then one afternoon Leaves of Grass fell onto the laminate.
The station wagon wasn’t in the drive. The sprinklers,
for all the gilt and shadow in the street, had run dry.
My boy and girl were grown elsewhere. And somehow I,
five years east, woke in mind of an odd-job deity no heathen
need ever wake in mind of. King of sun, pray for me again.

-Conor O’Callaghan, from The Sun King (2013)

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About wfupress

Wake Forest University Press was founded in 1976 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Exclusively publishing Irish poetry, we are a small academic press and the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America. We still reside in Winston-Salem as a part of Wake Forest University, and continue to publish culturally-rich literature.
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