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Sound Still Singing

Marian O'Brien Paul, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This collection of poetry is divided into three sections. Section I, arranged in loose chronological order, focuses on family/relationships; some are based on actual experiences, others fictionalized in part or whole. ^ The poems in Section II, arranged in a similar order, were generated by two visits to Ireland: one a brief ten-day trip; the other, a six-month sabbatical in a small cottage in an isolated farming community on the northwest coast of County Mayo. ^ Section III contains a set of poems about Turkey where I lived for several years; another about sunflowers/artists; and a mix about people, religious beliefs, gardens, seasons, and other subjects. I've allowed dialect and narrative to guide me throughout this collection. ^ Both narrative and lyrical, most of the poems are cast in free verse. ^ Fixed forms and variations appear: “The Snack” (a villanelle), “How to Write Ghazals,” ”A Sestina for Joe,” “A French Triolet for an Irish Cow,” “First Post” and “Village Wisdom” (quatrains), and sonnets, “Amy,” “Meagre: a Sonnet,” “A Pub for the Birds,” “View from a Mayo Window,” and “Brambles.” ^ Shaped poems include: “Night” and “Divine Presence” (prose poems), as well as concrete poems “Immolation,” “Mockingbird,” and the opening stanza of “Wisteria.” ^ Sound links appear in many poems traditional and less formal. Enjambment works forward and backward in several poems. ^ Gerard Manley Hopkins' sprung rhythm; Walt Whitman's catalogues; Virginia Woolf's ability to look at experience with inverted vision; courses taken in poetry writing; my own teaching (creative writing, various literature courses); and finally, a lifetime of reading, starting with poetry written for children and ongoing, ranging from past to contemporary poets, Beowulf to Seamus Heaney have all influenced my work. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Modern|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Paul, Marian O'Brien, "Sound Still Singing" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3116600.