Paul Durcan

Raftery in Tokyo (2004)

Suicidal in Tokyo,
A crow on the telegraph pole
Raucous with self-pity,
Ah, ah, ah – I squawk.

From County Mayo to Greater Tokyo
Men with failing eyesight go
Serenading the crazy innocence
They see because they know.










Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944. His first book, Endsville, appeared in 1967, and has been followed by many others, including The Berlin Wall Cafe (Poetry Book Society Choice, 1985), Daddy, Daddy (winner of the Whitbread Award for Poetry, 1990), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993), and Cries of an Irish Caveman: New Poems (2001). In 2001 he received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry. ‘Raftery in Tokyo’ first appeared in The Art of Life (London: The Harvill Press, 2004) and is © Paul Durcan. For further information see the Paul Durcan page at





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