I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Crustaceans on D’Olier Street


A poem from the late James Liddy, who was born in Lower Pembroke Street. The subject is D’Olier Street’s famous Red Bank restaurant a relatively posh establishment famous for oysters and frequented in the 1950s and before by politicos of the right and left, the literary elite and more bohemian writers, when in funds.

I saw you minutes ago
on Trinity’s cobblestones
after the maces stone-staring

On D’Olier Street, what a thrill
big international shadow
on our side-alley underbelly.

Swift and his serving man
drenched in Liffey monsoon
an’t keep up with Sam.

Now us rich kids sort of fey
no serving men with bread
but in a lobster restaurant


Published in Poetry Ireland, Issue 90, 2007