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This poem is taken from PN Review 86, Volume 18 Number 6, July - August 1992.

Poems Dennis O'Driscoll

POULAPHOUCA RESERVOIR

'Where ivy grows on a house, the family gets worn out'.
- from the Poulaphouca survey

1. The name 'Poulaphouca' means the hole of the spirit.
Quernstones by the submerged cottages will be ground
in the mills of God, fine as the distinction between
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. The Shell Guide to Ireland calls it 'the great lake of the
Liffey hydro-electric works'.

3. Life goes on in that Atlantis. Ivy grows on houses.
Haws redden in autumn. Roses are pruned back.
Thatch is replenished. Bridal veils float like surf on the
clear-skinned water. Turf fires blaze in the lake at
sunset.

4. The Field at the Bottom of the Lane is at the bottom
of the lake. The Field Under the Well is under water.
...


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