Geraldine Connolly is the author of three poetry collections: The Red Room (Heatherstone Press), Food for the Winter (Purdue University Press) and Province of Fire (Iris Press). Her poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, Chelsea, Shenandoah, The Georgia Review and The Gettysburg Review. She has been awarded a Maryland Arts Council fellowship as well as two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She was the Margaret Bridgman fellow at the Breadloaf Writers Conference. Billy Collins selected one of her poems, “The Summer I Was Sixteen,” for the Library of Congress Poetry 180 Website: A Poem a Day for American High School Students. She won first place in the 2002 W.B. ... more »
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Geraldine Connolly Poems
The Summer I Was Sixteen
The turquoise pool rose up to meet us, its slide a silver afterthought down which we plunged, screaming, into a mirage of bubbles. We did not exist beyond the gaze of a boy.
Sent off to boarding school at twelve, with a pair of oxfords, a pair of patents, my sterling silver christening rosary
Praise the good-tempered summer and the red cardinal that jumps like a hot coal off the track.
Why I was sent to Boarding School
to lengthen my hemlines and straighten my morals because I was difficult because my parents were tired
The Entropy of Pleasure
By the time you walk up to the ocean the wave has already disappeared, replaced by another wave, another sadness as in passion or the light dying at dusk
In Praise of Dawn
You can keep afternoon and its dwindling mysteries, twilight with its seedy hauteur. You can have night with its phony neon and rented motel rooms. I prefer morning when the air is so quiet the rub
Out of their secret places in autumn, from under dark logs and smooth gravestones they come, black snakes,
There was life before us my sister and I discovered looking at photographs we shouldn't have been looking at
To a Joshua Tree
I watch you flare up from the Mojave backdrop, obstreperous, a lyric of exploding tar— bold and unpredictable after legions of vernacular, tawdry scrub pine. I am taken aback,
Procession of All Souls
Gnarled and blessed be the hour of autumn when spotted pears sink into wet sod, and blessed be
Comments about Geraldine Connolly
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
The Summer I Was Sixteen
The turquoise pool rose up to meet us,
its slide a silver afterthought down which
we plunged, screaming, into a mirage of bubbles.
We did not exist beyond the gaze of a boy.
Shaking water off our limbs, we lifted
up from ladder rungs across the fern-cool
lip of rim. Afternoon. Oiled and sated,
we sunbathed, rose and paraded the concrete,
danced to the low beat of "Duke of Earl".
Past cherry colas, hot-dogs, Dreamsicles,
we came to the counter where bees staggered
into root beer cups and drowned. We gobbled
cotton candy torches, sweet as furtive ...