by Paula Meehan
Nettle, bramble, shepherd’s purse –
refugees from the building site
that was once the back field,
my former sworn enemies
these emissaries of the wild
now cherished guests
Seen on the Victoria Line as part of Poetry on the Underground. The journey gave time to read it twice and write it down ... and think about what lies between the lines. It's surely related to the longer "Death of a Field".
Paula Meehan (b.1955) came to write poetry through writing song lyrics; her poems have been put to music and extensively translated. While a student at Trinity College, Dublin, she was involved in street theatre and performance - and at last count has written 10 plays.
"Her poem "Seed" was used in the 2010 Leaving Certificate examination as the unseen poem, although (critically) the department misprinted 'useful' as 'useless' which somewhat diminished the meaning of the poem," says Wikipedia.
In this video, published in 2012, she talks about her inner city Dublin childhood, her education, her poetry and her work in women's prisons and reads three poems.