Catherine Phil MacCarthy

Catherine Phil MacCarthy is a native of Crecora, Co Limerick and has lived in Sandymount, Dublin since 1987. She has published four collections of poetry, and a novel, and is a free-lance tutor in Poetry and Creative Writing. Her poems explore from several angles the idea of ‘threshold’ or ‘the liminal’, the state of being in transition from one moment to the next.


Daughters of the House

Daughters of the House
(2019) [new]

The Invisible Threshold

The Invisible Threshold


Suntrap (2007)

The Blue Globe

the blue globe (1998)

How High The Moon

How High The Moon

One Room An Everywhere

One Room An Everywhere (2003)

This Hour of the Tide

This Hour of the Tide

For more details on these publications, click the cover thumbnails.

“Île de la Cité”

We descend the hill — across
Rue des Écoles, down to the quays
onto Les Îles, beyond the boundary
of Notre-Dame — find ourselves
strolling over Pont de l’Archevêché,
rails a tapestry of locks,
notice each other out of place
in the chill December wind.
You stroll on, past tacky declarations

bedecked with ribbons, scrawled hearts.
Two thousand locks gleam in the sun.
They nod to Abélard and Héloïse.
Where, the lovers who made
promises in stealth? Keys rust
on the riverbed of the Seine,
while a ferry, the Isabelle Adjani,
glides above. I walk on, past
vows sworn to last to, where
you wait for me, not looking back.

Recorded thanks to Sunday Miscellany in 2016 and published in Daughters of the House, Dedalus Press, Dublin, May 2019 (Link to Dedalus Press, Daughters of the House Page).