Rosemarie Rowley

Rosemarie Rowley

Rosemarie Rowley was educated at Trinity College Dublin, where she published her first poems in the sixties, and she has degrees in Irish and English literature, and philosophy; and a diploma in psychology. She also holds a Master of Literature degree for her work on the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh.

Rosemarie has published five books of poetry which include some of her long poems – she has four times won the Epic award in the Scottish International Poetry Competition.

Among her works in print “Hot Cinquefoil Star” (2002) and “In Memory of Her” (2004, 2008) both published by Rowan Tree Press, Dublin, which contain some of these prizewinning long poems.

In 2003 she co-edited, with John Haughton, an anthology of poems about trees Seeing the Wood and the Trees.

The Sea of Affliction” (1987) one of the first works in eco-feminism, was written in the ‘sixties, and published later when Rosemarie worked as Coordinator for the emerging green movement in Ireland. The book can be accessed and downloaded from the Irish Literary Revival website, under a Creative Commons agreement at:

A selection of her poetry, including her book-length poem in terza rima, “Flight into Reality” can be accessed at the University of Toronto’s “Representative Poetry Online” at:

Recently, The Wooing of Etain based on the Old Irish myth, written in the traditional form of Rhyme Royale, was published in Transverse, Journal of Comparative Literature, University of Toronto Press, 2007, online at:

Her account of her work in the early days of the Irish green movement can be accessed at:

Some of these items are linked in her web pages at:


Somehow in the vapour of the night’s breath
The slow kindling light, the dash of the sea
Against the shoreline, as if your storied death
Of hopes and dreams were everything to be;

Your face comes to me, and your willow neck
Bowing to the imperatives of your vanished youth
That broken trust, of those that would dissect
The tales and motives of your unvarnished truth

Of Nature’s love and beauty in the day –
It was certain that it was never-ending
Yet the demise of you, and the ancient way
In breaking, a crude science was now unbending

Yet, with the light, your memories keep in store
And gladden my own days with tints of ever more.


The snake-locks anemone
Hungered as she gazed on the green
Of eternal movement
Against the calm, cold,
Ignorant rock
Of pain and insecurity.
In the foam was splintering
Like actuality, her love dreams.
A moon
Turned masculine, he would
Govern her heart, mind
And spirit – computer
King-bee, to mimic her power over life,
Her terrible beauty franchised,
Petrified in the daily example of love.
Yet the dashing seaspray moves continually
In an infinite aubade, evensong,
A choric hymn to the sea mother;
Fractured, she would no more sing the song.
That second, when her eyes met the man
Mouthing the word atom
She knew him whose
Imploding eye
Would haunt her for centuries.

Poetry in this post: © Rosemarie Rowley
Published with the permission of Rosemarie Rowley