Irene Haugh: Irish Woman Poet

Irene Haugh worked as George Russell’s secretary on the Irish Statesman, and contributed poems to it and to many other periodicals, Her 1933 collection The valley of the bells, and other poems was introduced by Russell and her work featured in Donagh MacDonagh’s anthology Poems from Ireland (Dublin The Irish Times 1944).

Evening on Road; Dun Laoghaire was first published in the July 1932 issue of Poetry.

Evening on Road; Dun Laoghaire

No stones of ancient dwellings hold
Within their ruins life enclosed
In such grey gravity as, oh,
The silence of suburban roads.

Wrapped round in houses, life is there
In staring privacy. I stood
Upon the curb, and in my soul
Dreariness steeled down to brood.

Only slow scaled played
On a piano laboriously
Knocked against silence note by note
Up and down inevitably.

A curtain rustled from a window,
Flapping at me forlorn below;
Distant and unseen, a lawn-mower
Rolled monotonously to and fro.

A blackbird gurgled in the privet
A song as sweet at the evening air;
And through the tracery of trees
The sky loomed pink and greyly fair.

Unwatched the night drew close and closer,
Close my sadness too until
Suddenly I saw the pale new moon
Appear – once more a miracle;

As thus it will rise up in Achill
In Kerry or in Donegal,
Sudden and beautiful as over
These roads and houses, over all.


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