Three poems by Margaretta D’Arcy

Margaretta D’Arcy (b. 1934), an Irish actress, writer, playwright, and peace-activist. Margaretta is a member of Aosdána since its inauguration and is known for addressing Irish nationalism, civil liberties, and women’s rights in her work. Margaretta was born in London to a Russian Jewish mother and an Irish Catholic father. D’Arcy worked in small theatres in Dublin from the age of fifteen and later became an actress. Married in 1957 to English playwright and author John Arden, they frequently collaborate. They settled in Galway and established the Galway Theatre Workshop in 1976. The couple has written a number of stage pieces and improvisational works for amateur and student players, including The Happy Haven (1960) and The Workhouse Donkey. She has written and produced many plays, including “The Non-Stop Connolly Show”. Margaretta D’Arcy has written a number of books, including Tell Them Everything, Awkward Corners (with John Arden), and Galway’s Pirate Women: a global trawl.


Three poems by Margaretta D’Arcy


Girl Angst

I sit on a rock in my brand new frock

Watching the world go by

Oh me, oh my

Why does the world

Not stop to look at me

Sitting on my rock

With my brand new frock?

Oh me, oh my

Should I begin to cry?

Or maybe cry?

Or better sigh

A better still die.

So that someone passing by

Might stop and ask me why?

So than then I would not be

Just watching the world go by

In  my frock on a rock;

For the world would be watching me

And watching my rock

And watching my brand new frock

And how happy the world would be

To look at me so, and see.

No need to sigh.

No need to cry,

Or even die.




We’re wild and we’re wicked, we’re wanton and wilful,

As we spin through the city proclaiming our madness,

We will not be quiet, we’ve discovered our wildness

And our leapings and lurchings and lustings unending.


We’ll lustily slash as we wander and wonder:

We will not be controlled in our roving and raging,

Our passion, compassion, fanatic obsession,

Eyes open reviling our being unyielding.


We’re wild and we’re wicked, we’re wanton and wilful,

As we spin through the city acclaiming our madness.

We will not be quiet, we’ve discovered our wildness,

Our lurchings and lustings, our hurlings and whirlings.




For JOHN 2008


Fifty-one years old

fifty-one years

sharing your bed.

If I ask for your food

it is as if I have been somewhat lewd,

a spasm crosses your face

and a hand goes out to grasp the plate

as if stray food food

is more sacred than your bed:

it is your Space.

Well, after fifty-one years

I can hardly begin to shed tears

but enjoy what I can

with my very peculiar man

who is not so fat

but not yet as thin as a match:

two-and-a-half more stones of flesh

than that I vowed t cherish all my life.

Maybe it is a bonus

when the nights are cold:

I am cherished

in your arms and your fold?

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