After Seven Photographic Portraits of a Grey Connemara Pony

You will know a pony by its ears:
            Listening out for weather forecasts and love songs.

By its mane:
            Tossed over its eyes like a witch’s broom.

By its coat:
            Always buttoned up, tight-fitting, dusty and well-worn.

By its eyes:
            That look at you, then look at you again to take you in.

By its hooves:
            Made for dancing, and so are worn at the tips.

By its mouth:
            That loves to eat words given with pats of the hand.

By its nose:
            That knows you, and lifts the pony’s head to let it know you’re coming.

By its tail:
           That conducts the symphony of birdsong, lake-song, light-song.
           That is the bog underfoot, here above the village of Roundstone.


by Tony Curtis

Candlestick Press will be launching its latest pamphlet, Ten Poems about Horses, on Wednesday 19 June at Alison’s of Tewkesbury, with Alison Brackenbury and a line-up of guest poets. For more details, visit the Candlestick Press Facebook page . Sales support Bransby Horses, an equine welfare charity.

Don’t forget to register for the exciting reading with Ilya Kaminsky and Shara Lessley on 26 June, the symposium ‘Our Poetry and Our Needs’ on 9 July, and the launches of our latest ignitionpress pamphlets on 22 and 23 July. There are more details about all of these events here .

Finally, if you’re keen on filmmaking and poetry, why not enter our filmpoem competition! Choose a poem by one of our 
ignitionpress poets, respond to it in a short film, and win prizes and screenings! The deadline is 7 June, and there are more details on our blog .

‘After Seven Photographic Portraits of a Grey Connemara Pony’ is copyright © Tony Curtis, 2019. It is reprinted from Ten Poems about Horses, selected and introduced by Alison Brackenbury (Candlestick Press, 2019) by permission of Candlestick. You can read more about the pamphlet here.

Tony Curtis was born in Dublin in 1955. He studied Literature at Essex University and Trinity College Dublin. An award-winning poet, Curtis has published ten warmly received collections. His most recent are: Folk (Arc Publications 2011); Pony (Occasional Press 2013) with drawings and paintings by David Lilburn; Approximately in the Key of C (Arc Publications 2015). He has been awarded the Varuna House Exchange Fellowship to Australia and the Irish National Poetry Prize. In April 2018, the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota, awarded Curtis the 22nd Lawrence O’Shaughnessy prize for poetry. He has read his poetry all over the world to great acclaim. May 2019 saw the publication of This Flight Tonight – a book that celebrates the lives of Alcock & Brown and their incredible flight from a field in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to a bog in the west of Ireland in June 1919. He is a member of Aosdána. Read more about Tony’s work here.

Candlestick is a small, independent press based in Nottingham and has been publishing its sumptuous ‘instead of a card’ poetry pamphlets since 2008. Subjects range from Birds and Cricket to Tea, Kindness, Home and Puddings. Candlestick Press titles are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, as well as by galleries, museums and garden centres. They can also be ordered online on the Candlestick website, where you can find out more about the full range of titles. You can follow Candlestick on Twitter and  Facebook. In 2018 Candlestick sold over 75,000 pamphlets.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.