Moya Cannon (Irlande)

Poète irlandaise, née à Dunfanaghi, dans le Donegal, en 1956, Moya Cannon a fait des études d'histoire et de politique au Univerity College de Dublin et au Corpus Christi College de Cambridge. Directrice d'édition de Poetry Ireland Review en 1995, elle a résidé en 1994-1995 en Ontario, commé écrivain invité de Trent University. Son premier recueil, Oar, paru en 1990 chez Salmon Press, lui a valu le Brendan Behan Memorial Prize 1991 (prix décerné au meilleur premier recueil publié en Irlande l'année précédente). Elle vit et enseigne à Galway.


(Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto)

Who made the parchment boat?

Who bent and bound ribs of drifted wood

to a long clean frame?

Who stretched sealskins,

plaited sinew,

stitched the stitches?

Which mapped the making,

which mapped the wounds,

which curved along the edges of the lives of seals,

the edges of the lives of women,

the edges of the lives of men.


(The Parchment Boat, Loughcrew
© M. Cannon, The Gallery Press, 1997, p.



From below
we mistook them for cattle.

When we reach the cliff's edge,
the long-backed beasts
are thorn trees,
bent above a limestone wall.


Under the wall
young bushes clump together in the sun.
Today, there is no breeze

and, where trees have outgrown their shelter,
limbs, dragged east by prevailing winds,
are white and drunk with summer.


To the top of the wall,
the oldest tree grows, as thick as a man's neck,
then it withers to the east,
a black stick,
a seed's fragile gallows.


Life here is unredeemed
unless, in bitter winter,
a tree can know again in its still sap
these weeks of blossoming,
this perfect unfolding.


Soon again, the flower will fall before the red seed
and the red seed will fall without judgement;
nothing will be judged,
the skinning wind,
the wall built to keep beasts safe,
or the generous, deceiving earth.


(Oar, Galway © M. Cannon,
Salmon Poetry, 1990, p. 5-6)