Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
- The Times Literary Supplement


December 2012

On Derry city walls, 1992

by Rory Waterman

I was ten. I might still take Dad’s arm
now and then. Where the Bogside sprawls to green hills
he’d nod at what half-blindness meant he’d not see,
say: The border runs right between us and those farms.

Then he’d point down at Free Derry Corner, the Inn,
the murals of gasmasks and thirteen men dead.
His outrage was weighted. I washed in it, like love.
Then at his house at night, before bed,

we’d crank up the “Irish songs”: “Boolavogue,”
"Dirty Old Town,” “Skibbereen,” “Spancil Hill.”
I’m full of them still. They were solder between
us Mum couldn’t use, that sustained me back home.

But, like “Dirty Old Town” evokes Salford, in Lancs,
my voice was pure Lincoln. Homogenous Lincoln
was not where I came from, I knew, as I prayed
for my best friend’s dad, stil ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

 Rory Waterman's first collection of poetry, Tonight the Summer's Over, is forthcoming from Carcanet.

more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 December 2012, on page 48

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion |

E-mail to friend

The New Criterion

You might also enjoy

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"
Fred Siegel discusses his new book The Revolt against the Masses and the myriad oversights of the historian Richard Hofstadter.