Derek Mahon

Poet and journalist

A man with light skin tone and grey hair and beard sitting at a table in a living room Derek Mahon, by Jemimah Kuhfeld, July 2009, NPG x134341, © Jemimah Kuhfeld

Northern-Irish poet and journalist. Collections include Night Crossing, Harbour Lights and Life on Earth.

Either way, I am,,
Through with history —
Who lives by the sword

Dies by the sword.

From ‘The Last of the Fire Kings’ in Poems 1962-1978 (Oxford: OUP, 1979)

They are begging us, you see, in their wordless way,
To do something, to speak on their behalf
Or at least not to close the door again.

From ‘A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford’ in Poems 1962-1978 (Oxford: OUP, 1979)