Book Cover: Now is a Moveable Feast
Editions:Hardcover - First edition: € 18.00
ISBN: 0 94339 54 3
Paperback: € 12.00
ISBN: 0 948339 55 1
A long poem set in the Irish landscape at the mouth of the Boyne River. The poem moves backwards and forward in time, exploring the fortunes of those who lived there, people, animals, birds, and the eternal presence of the land, river and sea.

It was recorded and broadcast by RTE radio (produced by David Warner) some years ago with a cast of actors and music by Eibhlis Farrell. I've had the pleasure of reading this poem accompanied by friends and family many times. The cover image is an ink sketch I made to illustrate the book.

"A beautifully written poem, perfectly illustrated, strong, sensuous and honest, full of sustenance."
Frank McGuinness

"To read Now is a Moveable Feast, or better still to hear it read aloud, is to undertake a journey in time and space: in space we go to the mouth of the Boyne, in time we revisit the early years of the century.What Anne Hartigan has done, in her triumphantly sustained, long, narrative poem, is to evoke from a fusion of scene and story a haunting and compelling beauty which will not easily be forgotten. The absolute rightness of the verse for the theme, and the dignity and objectivity with which that theme is handled, are matters of wonder and delight to which the reader will return again and again. Not the least of the resources of the English tongue as handled by Anne Hartigan is its sheer music; add to that the precision of the artist's eye and the result is a truly notable achievement."
Maire Mhac an tSaoi
(Maire Cruise O'Brien)

Sections of Now is a Moveable Feast have won three awards, including The Open Poetry Award at Listowel Writers' Week.

Publisher: Salmon Poetry
Cover Artists:
The Black Shed

The black shed
is gone now,
tumbled down
fifty years ago
or more, but the name

A little field
too awkward
to plough, uneven-
shaped, but sheltered
with high hedges
and flaring furze; soon
early bite grows quick,
before milk-easing June.

Here mares
foal down,
and many a heifer
heaved her young to earth.

A good place for birth.

Our first time ever foal
was dropped there,
one night in a sudden wild,
a summer storm.

Small Dermot rushed
the early morning news
but we
had felt her coming
in the wind's wet knocking.

Up and over
lane and field
we went
in the well-washed morning;

homed, by the hedge
the mare, contented, fat
sat back, like a dog
on her haunches.


And this new chocolate life
a clean licked
catkin creature

Strut up;

High-headed as her dam
suede nostrils flickering
our hands our faces,
and noticed all this New,

O jade
O jewel,

This morning's miracle.

Little Lord of Death

Little Lord of death
    Take a mighty step
Dance, Dance,
    To the High Hop tune;
Dance, Dance,
    With the lady fair
Who plays her flute
    To the jealous moon.

Little Lord of death
    Your feet come soon
They know each step
    In the jig and rune
They know each step
    As the lady fair
Shows a clean heel
    In the grass in June.

As the young girls played
    On a summer's day,
As the young girls tinkled
    A piano tune;
And sang sentimental
    And played violins
Never knowing you were bowing
    Your Nick Nock tune.

In a house by the sea
    That they took for the summer
If help came late,
     If help came soon;
Little Lord of death
    Had ticked off a number
A tired little number,
    In a rented room.

    Dance, Dance,
Mighty Lord of  Death
    Dance High
To your hip hop tune,
    The rose that was red
Is the rose that is white
     And she fell down dead
In a rented room.

     The roses white
And the roses red
     They burst with joy
When they're in bloom,
     They sink and sigh
And sodden lie.
      When they open their ears
To your Nick Nock tune.



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©2021 Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

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