Poem introduction

The next poem is the last poem in my first collection, and the title poem.

These Days

These Days

These days, it seems, I am winding my clock an hour forward
with every second weekend, and the leaves on my Marc Chagal calendar
flip as though they are caught in some covert draught.
These days I haven't time for people on television or aeroplanes
who say 'momentarily' meaning 'in just one moment'.

These days - these days which are fairly unremarkable -
light falls, outside of my window, on the red brick planes
where the trees are coming into leaf. These are the days
of correcting the grammar on library desk graffiti,
the cheap, unmistakeable thrill of breaking a copyrite law.

But these days, like Cleopatra's Anthony, I fancy bestriding the ocean;
these days I am serious. These days I'm bowled over
hearing myself say ten years ago this … ten years ago such-and-such
like the man left standing, his house falling wall by wall,
in that black and white flick blurring headlong into colour.

'These Days' from These Days (Jonathan Cape, 2004), (c) Leontia Flynn 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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1Naming It

2Acts of Faith

3For Stuart, who accidentally obtained a job in the Civil Service

4When I was sixteen I met Seamus Heaney

5The Second Mrs de Winter

6Without Me

7The Furthest Distances I've Travelled

8By My Skin

9These Days

10Casablanca, backwards

11Leaving Belfast


13Samuel Beckett

14Olive Shreiner

15George Orwell's Death

16Alfred Hitchcock

17Charles Baudelaire's Mother

18F Scott Fitzgerald

19Dorothy Parker

20Elizabeth Bishop

21Robert Lowell 1&2

22Saturday in the Pool

23A head for figures

24Our Fathers



27Poem for an unborn child

28Robert, The Painter

29The Day We Discovered Pornography Catalogues in the Mail

30The Bullfight

31Inside Catedral Nueva

Books by Leontia Flynn