NOTES & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Some of the poems in this book appeared first in the following publications, to whose editors I am grateful: Agenda, Archipelago, The Edinburgh Review, The Irish Times, Oxford Poetry, Times Literary Supplement, The Yellow Nib. ‘The Swords’ arises from a visit to Japan made in 2012; I am grateful to my hosts, C. E. J. Simons and the International Christian University, Tokyo.
Two Salmon: This poem is indebted to Seamus Heaney, and is published now in his memory. The epigraph is taken from a note by W. B. Yeats (on his early verse), dated 1925 and first published in 1933: ‘[…] I saw a man at Rosses Point carrying two salmon. “One man with two souls,” I said, and added, “O no, two people with one soul.” […] I remember the mystical painter Horton, whose work had little of his personal charm and real strangeness, writing me these words, “I met your beloved in Russell Square, and she was weeping,” by which he meant that he had seen a vision of my neglected soul.’
Herne the Hunter: The last line of sonnet 8 is quoted from Sir Philip Sidney, ‘A Farewell’ (Certaine Sonets):
Oft have I musde, but now at length I finde, Why those that die, men say they do depart: Depart, a word so gentle to my minde, Weakely did seeme to paint deaths ougly dart. But now the starres with their strange course do binde Me one to leave, with whome I leave my hart. I heare a crye of spirits faint and blinde, That parting thus my chiefest part I part.
Part of my life, the loathed part to me, Lives to impart my wearie clay some breath. But that good part, wherein all comforts be, Now dead, doth shew departure is a death, Yea worse then death, death parts both woe and joy, From joy I part still living in annoy.
The final line of sonnet 9 is drawn from Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I–i–9: ‘the Maple seldom inward sound’.
Roe: The O’Cahan clan were the rulers of the Limavady area in Co. Derry until 1628. Once, when under siege from the O’Donnels of Donegal, the O’Cahans sent a wolfhound out from their castle to fetch help, which it did by leaping across the river Roe.