About the poet
Ian Duhig (b. 1954) was the eighth of eleven children born to Irish parents with a liking for...
I'd collected a good jig called 'The Self',
but lilting it last night for Dr Bottle
he chided me, opined it should be Sylph,
which is Greek, like much he says, meaning beetle.
He chokes the same and gibbets butterflies,
now all your rich men's fashionable rage.
My fellow inmates praise him to the skies,
and like a hawk he scans my every page,
the dumb morris of these poor whopstraw words.
When pressed, a melancholy Johnson said
'Why Sir, we are a nest of singing birds!'
Well I hear boughs breaking inside my head
so listen till the music has to stop,
for like a tree, I'm dying from the top.
from Nominies (Bloodaxe Books, 1998), copyright © Ian Duhig 1998, used by permission of the author and the publisher
Ian Duhig Reading from his poems