Yale Graduate and Bennington Graduate
He was sent back East to where gentlemen went
At a time when Senator Yeats was still in his tower;
East coast Anglophile grace for maritime power,
His family’s mercantile Pacific clout made absent
Deliberately as he plunged into the long haul
Of Professor Wade and Yale. Comfort became stone
And luxury as barren as a West Clare wall,
His dinner-jacket becoming frayed and undone –
Whereas, his grand-daughter sixty years on
Breaks her tanned ankle in a Co. Tipperary field
Just ten days after graduating Bennington;
Not that pain bothered her or that she’d yield
To any kind of self-pity or youthful stress.
Something from her grandfather was in her legs still
As she ran through a field of Tipperary wheat:
Wanting a Tolstoy feel, she said, not Yeats, not Yale.
A member of Aosdána, the Irish Assembly of artists, Thomas McCarthy has published many collections of poetry, including The First Convention, The Sorrow Garden, Merchant Prince, The Last Geraldine Officer, Pandemonium and Prophecy and two novels, Without Power and Asya and Christine as well as two works of non-fiction, Gardens of Remembrance and Out of the Ashes. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett and O’Shaughnessy Prize for Poetry as well as the Ireland Funds Annual Literary Award. He was Editor of Poetry Ireland Review and The Cork Review.