Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Once Upon A Wicked Eye: Pat Ingoldsby's new book

Pat Ingoldsby's new book of poetry has recently been published. Once again, he presents a unique, individual record of Dublin life in poetic form. From the sublime to the ridiculous, the poignant to the ludicrous and the inane to the dubious, it's yet another collection - his 19th of poetry and 23rd overall, for his fans to treasure and for new readers to discover and enjoy.


The way they arrive at your house,
wet and wretched, homeless and abandoned.
Within months they're giving out to you
for moving in your own bed!
With poems ranging from childhood memories to his love for a woman, from people he meets on the streets to completely off-the-wall ideas, it's a book that made me gasp, laugh and think. Some of the poems have stuck with me for days - his tribute to a homeless girl called Fiona is quite something; some - including the one about the cow who thought "fuck the ozone layer" and farted - have stuck in my head and won't leave. It's certainly one I'll be rereading.

The homeless are handy at Christmas.
You do not even need to know their names.
They're out there somewhere.
You are helping them.
It feels seasonably good.
You don't have to meet them,
or touch them or anything like that.
Your son is at it too,
sleeping out for a whole night
with the sons of other better-off folk,
to help this anonymous, kept-at-a-distance,
disadvantaged group with no names
but known collectively, and for convenience
as the homeless.
A large group of better-off sons in sleeping bags,
huddling together under canvas
in the middle of O' Connell Street.
Helping the homeless.
Meanwhile, "THEY"
are sleeping someplace else,
In ones or twos, under cardboard,
in doorways and skips, up lanes.
One or two might even flit past
during the night. They'll keep going.
They know their place.
By January they'll have been forgotten.
I'm particularly gratified to be one of the many people he thanked in the introduction of this new volume. Every time I stop to chat I leave with a different perspective, a smile or something new to look out for on the streets of Dublin. Therefore his addition of my name, though small, made me smile very brightly when I found out.

In the same spirit, I'd like to offer a signed copy of the book to someone who'd like a smile. It's great if you're a fan but equally, if you've never read Pat's poetry before, here's your chance to grab a copy.

Just leave a comment below with a way to contact you (if I don't know already) and I'll get in touch. Let me know what you think of it.

If you're not the lucky winner of this copy, you'll find Pat's book in some bookstores but more likely from the man himself, usually on Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2, or at the pier in Howth. You'll also find him at 3 Vernon Court, Seafield Road West, Clontarf, Dublin 3.

[All poetry by Pat Ingoldsby from Once Upon A Wicked Eye.]


  1. OOOH, I'd love a copy, saw him the last time I was in Dublin and was too shy to go up to him.

    Thanks a million.

  2. No problem my dear, I'll drop you a line to get your address. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy :)

  3. Pat rocks. I haven't spoken to him but sometimes I just stand across the way and watch him meeting and greeting. He's a rare type...

  4. Nay, I'd be happy to introduce you next time. I think you'd like him.

  5. Those are delightful. What a legend. This is now on my Christmas list for a few people :)

  6. i said this here before, i love pat. i have most of his books and was waiting for this one, glad it's out! i'll look for him in town this weekend to see if i can get a copy :)

  7. I only have one of his books. I felt awkward going up to him the first time but he's a really lovely man.

  8. Looks like I am too late for the book (?). Maybe not, I live in hope. Those 2 samples will make me buy in any event. Good idea to generate more comment to the blog, as if you needed any assistance in that regard!

  9. Is this the same book as "Once Upon a Hide" as advertised on his website? How do I get a copy of it if not?
    Thanks, huge fan

  10. i am trying to locate a book by pat, my aunt passed away in july 08, he attended her funeral and read out a poem at her grave that he had written about her, she worked on o connell street for many years as her father did before her, her name is susan conroy, maiden name kelly...i would love to locate this for my mother ..as of yet i have had no joy...he is a lovely man ...any help you may be able to give me would be deeply appreciated...kind regards sarah