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POETRY ESSAYS

With His Nora, O'Casey Strolled

Liz Dolan on Seán O'Casey
Dublin, Ireland

Seán O'Casey was born and raised in Dublin, but because his play The Plough and the Stars (third in a trilogy) received such a violent reaction at Dublin's Abbey Theater, W. B. Yeats urged him to take his work to the world. He left, but sad to say, he never wrote anything as powerful as the trilogy of plays he wrote in the charming city of Dublin.

through the tall grasses of Stephen's Green
and over the Liffey Bridge, sipped coffee
at Bewley's on Upper Grafton Street.

She was a simple girl who needed not
his terrible dreams but a simple life.
Yet he felt as much at home with her
as when he chatted with his mother
by the fiery grate about the doings of the day.

Take your words to the world's great cities,
Yeats urged. Beneath the shade
of the old ruined tower he took leave
of Dublin's cobblestones and Nora
and his kin but could no longer
hear them talk a door off its hinge.

Liz Dolan's second poetry manuscript, A Secret of Long Life, was nominated for the Robert McGovern Prize. Her first poetry collection, They Abide, was published by March Street Press. A six-time Pushcart nominee and winner of the Best of the Web, she has also won an established artist fellowship in poetry and two honorable mentions in prose from the Delaware Division of the Arts. She recently won the Nassau Prize for prose. She has received fellowships to attend residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and Martha's Vineyard. Liz serves on the poetry board of Philadelphia Stories. Her nine grandkids, who live one block away, pepper her life.