Sinéad Morrissey (born on 24 April 1972 in Portadown, County Armagh) is an Irish poet. In January 2014 she won the T.S. Eliot Prize for her fifth collection Parallax.
Raised in Belfast, she was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where she took BA and PhD degrees, and won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1990. She has published four collections of poetry: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2001), The State of the Prisons (2005), and Through the Square Window (2009), the second, third and fourth of which were shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. After periods living in Japan and New Zealand she now lives in Belfast, where she has been ... more »
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V Is For Veteran
A soldier returned from a war
was how my P6 spelling book put it: I saw
cripples with tin cans for coins
in dusty scarlet, back from some spat of Empire.
Later I became aware of buildings
built in squares around a courtyard
where every room looked down
to a fountain
rinsing and bleaching the light
assiduously as the women
who in folded hats like wings
washed clean their wounds.
My erstwhile stepfather was one
for whom Vietnam
was a constantly recurring dream -
the jungle inching its tendrils
into his lungs until he becomes