Thursday, 7 April 2011


I was at the opening of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition at IMMA in Dublin on Tuesday night and I've written about it here at The Anti- Room. I've been a huge fan of Kahlo for years and have written about her in a number of poems, including the one below where she visits Ballinasloe (from my forthcoming collection with Salmon, The Juno Charm). An inspirational woman if ever there was one.

Frida Kahlo likes to walk in colour,
but she is hard-pushed on Society Street.

We wander together up Sarsfield Road;
‘Where is all the yellow,’ she asks, ‘the red?’

Frida, in a floral dress and Mexican silver,
draws a tidings of magpies from the sky.

‘No parrots,’ she says, ‘no hibiscus?’
Clouds part, a triangle of blue pleases her.

Then she sees a scarlet Massey Ferguson,
yew berries spilled like beads on the footpath,

A woman in a crimson coat and man’s shoes,
a King Charles with a postcard colleen’s curls,

Tail-lights like alien eyes spinning to Ahascragh;
‘Viva la vida,’ says unflinching Frida, painter of pain.

She sings the reds of Sarsfield Road and they bleed
into the veins of the town, pulsing its grey.


Máire T. Robinson said...

Oh wow, can't wait to see this exhibition. And I love your Frida poem :)

Ev said...

Will deffo go now


Ta mucho, ladies. (See how I said that in Spanish?!)

(Word ver: blamom. Yes, that's closer to the mark...)

Rachel Fenton said...

muey bonito - I love Frida - and I'm looking forward to reading The Juno Charm - such vitality in this poem.


Thank you, Rae - you are always such a positive support to me and I appreciate it. Wish you could be here and we could go to the exhib togther and have a good old natter. N x

Jacinta said...

Nuala, I love your Frida poem! (would you mind if I reprinted it with a link to you?) I was at MoMA last weekend and spent ages in front of two Kahlo works there—"Fulang-Chang and I" and "Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair." Thanks for adding a little timely poetry to my day and can't wait for this new collection of poetry!


Reprint away, Jacinta - of course.

I love MoMa and I could be there again in 2 weeks :) :) :)