On Christmas Day we unexpectedly lost one of the greatest advocates for poetry I’ve ever met. Dennis O’Driscoll was singular in his extreme generosity and goodwill, his prodigious store of poetic knowledge, and his inability to utter a negative word about a fellow writer.
In writing about her husband in the poem “Bookworm,” Julie O’Callaghan noted:
Even when you’re sleeping
your dreams are literary:
walking up a steep dark staircase,
books, like bats, were flying at your head.
Reading the titles out loud saved you.
Never have I met a man who cared so deeply about poetry and was so well read in it. He started working in the Irish civil service at the age of sixteen, and it was clear that literature sustained him throughout his too-short life. Indeed, he lived for poetry. Although his work remains, and his next book, Dear Life, is due out in a few months, we are all lesser for no longer having him in this world.
someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt