November 2000

Chris Neenan


Chris Neenan lives in Rome, Italy, where he mixes two careers: English consultant at Italy's Central Bank, Banca d'Italia, and Professor of English at John Cabot University, Rome. "Both careers have driven me to writing poetry, but only recently, much like illuminating manuscripts drove 7th century Irish monks to scribbling poems as marginalia." Recently, Chris's poetry has appeared in Stirring and Dublin Writers' Workshop's Electric Acorn.
Ted Hughes    Click to hear in real audio

I never liked you, not from the start,
not since your fox slinked through the fence into my garden
and rooted his way down under the flowerbeds.

O much has changed since you began to keep hate up.
When the hard hitting winter hooked even the water
in the raintroughs and the news of Ariel came.

Now after thirty years like a hawk you eye me at every turn.
First that hurt you did someone close to me you hardly
excused. I turned to Rome and Ovid and you

awkwardly followed turning the Sulmonite into something he was not
and into your rooks and crows of vowels.
How dare you retell the old tales like they were yours.

In the dark holm oaks of Horsenden Wood all summer
I listened to your voice trailing out perfect the
great tradition on which for now you close

the door and some old tenderness took hold of me
like when you read after your second great loss
and even old enemies wept to see you curved

under poetry, your own and the American bride’s.
November for the dead: November for the saints.
Dear dead saint pray for us now and at our midnight moment’s hour.



Chris Neenan: Poetry
Copyright 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 14The Cortland Review