Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast in 1948. After graduating from the Queen's University in Belfast he worked for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He became a professor at Queen's University in 1998, as well as being Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.
Balaklava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street, Crimea Street - areas and roads in Belfast
Saracen - an army vehicle
Makrolon - a type of plastic
Suddenly as the riot squad moved in it was raining exclamation
Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And
Itself - an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst
of rapid fire...
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept
All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and
I know this labyrinth so well - Balaklava, Raglan, Inkerman,
Odessa Street -
Why can't I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street.
Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-
talkies. What is
My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going?
A fusillade of question-marks.
This poem's set in Northern Ireland during "The Troubles" - a period when there were lots of terrorist incidents between Catholic and nationalists and Potestant unionists.
You've Got to Know What the Poem's About
1) The narrator is caught up in a …