O – Owl
Today we have a special guest, Maureen Cullen, a very talented poet and short story writer.
Maureen writes poetry and short fiction. In 2016, she was published along with three other poets in Primers 1, a collaboration between Nine Arches Press and the Poetry School. She has poems published in Prole, The Lake, The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Reach Poetry, Salopeot and forthcoming in Amaryllis.
Maureen has agreed to share her poem Owl.
Owl is from Volume One, Primers, 2016, Nine Arches Press
Teacher gied us an exercise
tae draw a picture of our fathers.
I drew an owl, coloured it in
wi shades of plaid, gied it glasses
like pennies. Owls wear glasses, I said,
cause they’re smart. I drew him a tie
like he wore for the church, a cap
for his clump of ginger feathers, sat
him on a branch of our oak tree
wi his Golden Virginia, a red spot
on the doup at his lip, smoke puffing
tae the top of the page, wished he’d fly,
stretching wing-tip tae wing-tip
but maybe he’d cough, need his back clapped.
I leant his walking stick on the bark
so he could wing-limp up the path.
Thank you for sharing Owl with us Maureen. I’m sure you’ll all agree with me that Maureen is a very talented poet.
O – Object Poem
‘A poem about an inanimate object. It may give us a fresh look at something ordinary, or it may transform a strange object into something familiar.’ (John Drury, Poetry Dictionary)
O – Octave
An eight-line stanza.
O – Occasional Verse
O – Ode
A song or lyric, often passionate, expansive, exuberant, rhapsodic. (John Drury, The Poetry Dictionary)
Here’s an ode that I wrote as part of my upcoming poetry collection In a Delightful Country. I wrote this following the Hoops and Haiku event, as a special request for the project manager at Worth Park, when I was completing my residency as part of my Communities module.
An Ode to Croquet
A smooth jade coat shines in the sun,
lawn cut low to strike and glide the balls.
Two-hundred and forty-five square metres
shimmer, waiting for croquet teams to play.
Hoops and balls are lined up on the court,
a sport where everyone is equal.
Grab yourself a mallet,
is the striker ready?
Janet scores a hoop, she makes a roquet
all in the same stroke – we hail thee Croquet.
O – Wilfred Owen
‘Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of the best British poetry on World War I, composed nearly all of his poems in slightly over a year, from August 1917 to September 1918. In November 1918 he was killed in action at the age of twenty-five, one week before the Armistice.’ (Poetry Foundation) Read more
Read Anthem for Doomed Youth here
Read Exposure here
O – Sean O’Brien
‘Sean O’Brien (b. 1952) has been described as the leading poet–editor–critic of his generation. He was born in London but grew up in Hull. The North East – its landscapes, history and culture – have remained a core influence and concern in his poetry. He graduated from Selwyn College, Cambridge, and spent the 1980s teaching in a secondary school in East Sussex,’ (Forward Arts Foundation) Read more
You can read one of his poems, The Calm, on the Poetry Foundation website.