About the poet
Bernard O'Donoghue's poetry is marked by a gift for poetic portraiture, sketching characters at...
A Candle for Dolly Duggan
Improbabilities of course, we all
know that: that this graceful taper
I force into the the tallowed cast iron
beneath the Assumption in the Frari
could change the heavens, so that she
can pick up her cigarettes and lighter
to move on to a higher circle, as before,
she moved, talking, through the lanes of Cork.
Sir Thomas Browne said there aren't impossibilities
enough in religion for an active faith.
So I'll go on spending liras and francs
and pesetas across the smoky hush
of Catholic Europe until she says
'That's enough', and then I'm free to toast
her in red wine outside in the sunlit squares.
from Outliving (Chatto & Windus 2003), © Bernard O’Donoghue 2003, used by permission of the author.
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