Death of an Irishwoman

Death of an Irishwoman by Michael Hartnett is a poem that splits opinion. It appears to be a tribute to a woman that has died, but the comparisons and descriptions are not the most flattering.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

Death of an Irishwoman was voted inside Ireland’s 100 favourite poems by readers of the Irish Times in 1999.

Death of an Irishwoman by Michael Hartnett. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Death of an Irishwoman

Ignorant, in the sense
She ate monotonous food
And thought the world was flat,
And pagan, in the sense
She knew the things that moved
All night were neither dogs or cats
But hobgoblin and darkfaced men
She nevertheless had fierce pride.
But sentenced in the end
To eat thin diminishing porridge
In a stone-cold kitchen
She clenched her brittle hands
Around a world
She could not understand.
I loved her from the day she died.

She was a summer dance at the crossroads.
She was a cardgame where a nose was broken.
She was a song that nobody sings.
She was a house ransacked by soldiers.
She was a language seldom spoken.
She was a child’s purse, full of useless things.

Death of an Irishwoman by Michael Hartnett. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Click here to buy on Amazon

Poems

All images copyright Ireland Calling

Ireland's 100 favourite poems

Celtic phone cases

Beautiful Celtic phone cases available

Did you know?

An Irish couple trekked for more than three hours up the highest mountain in Ireland to get this incredibly beautiful wedding photo from the top. Find out more.

Have you heard about…

Irish citizen test - Radio presenter Rick O’Shea asked his listeners to suggest amusing and surreal ideas for questions that could appear on such a test. Most of all they had to capture the essence of Irishness. Are you up to the Rick O’Shea Citizenship challenge? Try it here.

What about this…

Robert Emmet is one of Ireland’s most romantic and best remembered nationalist leaders. He might have easily been forgotten but he earned lasting fame because of three aspects of his passionate nature. Find out more.
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.