Mary Devenport O’Neill: Irish Woman Poet

Mary Devenport O’Neill is one of a number of forgotten Irish women poets from the early part of the 20th century. She worked with W.B. Yeats on A Vision and her Thursday salon was frequented by many of the key Irish literary and artistic figures of the era. This short poem is from her one book, the 1929 Prometheus and Other Poems. Her work is all out of print and does not appear in many of the numerous anthologies of Irish verse.


It seems to me
I live perpetually
On the cloudy edge of the sound of a bell
For ever listening.
I cannot tell
If it is memory
Of something that rang beautifully
Or if a bell will ring.


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