We're delighted to present our Poem Of The Week, presented in association with Poetry Ireland.
This week's poem is Starry, Starry Night in the National Library by Moya Cannon - read it below.
Vincent, you would have loved it,
as Don McClean's song poured out
of the bottom, left-hand corner of the reading room
of the Irish National Library,
loudly enough for all twenty-three readers,
drowsy browsers, graduate students,
academics on sabbatical,
to lift and turn startled heads,
like sea-birds grazing a salt-marsh.
He sang for a whole yellow minute, maybe two,
while the readers continued to shift and turn around
not quite upset that their silence had been stolen.
From her curved counter a librarian scanned the desks
and a brown-jacketed, middle-aged man tiptoed
from the catalogue section and gently
closed the lid of a Mac Air, and a long, slow
sigh came from all forty-four cherubs
who had been swinging their plump garlands
high on the green library wall since your time
and I was blown back to a bedsit on South Circular Road
where, forty years ago, I blu-tacked a poster
of your blue and yellow field of stars
at the head of my single bed, not finding it strange
that the stars should swirl like small suns in the pit of night,
not knowing it was painted a year before
you took your own aching, luminous life,
and you, not knowing, as you fought your darkness
and frenziedly harvested the light of stars and sickle moon,
how it would all be poured into a song,
how your brush would flood a library across the sea,
a century later, with golden, starry light.