The Cold Irish Earth: New & Selected Poems of Ireland 1965-1995

About this Book

This book contains a generous selection of poems responding to life in Ireland, where the author has had a home since 1964. The collection, spanning thirty years of work, includes new poems as well as those drawn from nine previously published volumes, most of them long out of print, including A Close Sky Over Killaspuglonane (Dolmen, 1968) and Learning to Spell Zucchini (Salmon, 1988). Focused primarily in County Clare, the book records the author’s encounters with the landscape, animals and people of Ireland in historical, mythical and contemporary settings.

“Skinner carries a universe of poetic insight wherever he goes.” -Paul Gillie

Salmon Poetry, 1996
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The Cold Irish Earth

Read a poem from this book

The Cold Irish Earth

I shudder thinking
of the cold Irish earth.
The firelighter flares
in the kitchen range,
but a cold rain falls
all around Liscannor.
It scours the Hag’s face
on the Cliffs of Moher.
It runs through the bog
and seeps up into mounds
of abandoned turf.
My neighbour’s fields are chopped
by the feet of cattle
sinking down to the roots
of winter grass.
That coat hangs drying now
by the kitchen range,
but down at Healy’s cross
the Killaspuglonane graveyard
is wet to the bone.