Growing Up in Colour by Maurice Devitt

Our writers give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland.

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Maurice Devitt celebrates what it is to be human in these poems of wit and wisdom. With his distinctive narrative style and eye for vivid detail, he moves deftly between playfulness and seriousness, creating poems that offer both solace and delight.

— Jane Clarke

2018 / 80 pages / €12

ISBN: 978-1-907682-63-6
Cover art: Tetyana Snezhhyk /

(click to view cover)

Growing Up in Colour

Growing Up in Colour

By Maurice Devitt

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MAURICE DEVITT completed the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition and was placed or shortlisted in many other competitions including The Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Listowel Collection Competition and Cúirt New Writing Award. Selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2016, he was a featured poet at the Poets in Transylvania Festival in 2015 and a guest speaker at the John Berryman Centenary Conference in both Dublin and Minneapolis. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site.


The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work

He takes the train from work,
a chair
tucked under his arm
and sometimes
he sits,
looks around
a carriage
filled with commuters,
pictures himself
in pinstripe and Prada,
a champagne-belly,
decisive cuff-links,
a briefcase full of numbers
and a customised watch
showing customary time.
Silent eyes surround him,
muscles twitch
and in the shaky stillness
his fingers
tighten on the whip.

Hanging the Mirror

I was thinking
that maybe this wasn’t the way:
then you arrived, perfectly-equipped —
inflated hammer and rubber nails —
City and Guilds poking
from the side-pocket of your overalls.
Like a safe-cracker
you tapped the wall for girth
and hidden passages, walked around
the mirror as though skirting a pond,
took off your shoes and stepped in,
cautiously at first, nervous of carp
and knotted reeds. Waded
up to your waist. ‘Come in, it’s lovely.’
Never a swimmer, I demurred,
offered to hold your coat.
You walked until you were out
of your depth and all I could see
was the hammer in an outstretched hand.
Left it a day or so but you never came back.
Eventually, when I hung the mirror
I turned it sideways so you would be
closer to the bank.