Poetry I Love: Paul Durcan's 'Nessa'

Probably my favourite ever poem was introduced to me by one of my closest friends, who I had the privilege to love, which only made our friendship stronger when that ended. He read this to me, in every cliche way (I remember Klara throwing up metaphorically when I told her), showed off and asked me what I thought, how I understood it. I am a lover of poetry, and amateur at writing, and I like to mull metaphors over for a while, like how someone may take a second before swallowing the first mouthful of wine, to allow every layer to seep out.

Dublin was painted with a broad stroke paintbrush, and I immediately loved it. So much so, that I have a 5-second recording of it being read, on my phone, and while I lost many other things from there, I managed to recover this the other day.

I love it because it's romantic but subtle. It's contemporary, but the only thing new is the dusty old taxi cab, so does that even qualify? It's sexual, I mean who says 'she dropped me in her well', but it's not inappropriate. Every time I hear or read this, I think of a man so overwhelmed by his beautiful Nessa, that he's drowning, obsessed with her name and wanting to spend his life with her. There was a time when I couldn't hear this poem, and thankfully no readings seem to exist on the internet.

But now it's the letter finisher, always the PS in what we send across the Irish Sea. Yes, I do send romantic poetry to people I used to have romantic relationships with, but no it's not messy. It would be messy if it were different, but it's not. It will most definitely be in the Christmas card I send to my best friend in Ireland.

PS- you were a whirlpool, and I very nearly drowned



  1. Never even heard of this poem before this post. Your friend sounds very charming, you must be very strong to resist love sonnets :)

    1. Haha I probably wouldn't have heard it either, it's such a rare find, so I feel obliged to spread the word 😂

  2. This is adorable, and how lucky you are and how honored you are to find such a good friend while you're still quite young