Interview with Poet Paul O’Donnell (PASSING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Paul O’Donnell: Despair, frustration, poor decisions and their consequences, hope

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

All my poetry is prompted by what I feel or see. It’s my way of thinking about social change and doing something about it with the power of poetry.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

50 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

To really enjoy poetry it has to be heard. It can’t just be in your head.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Short stories and I’m currently collaborating on a book on Entrepreneurship called “Humble Crumbles”

7) What is your passion in life?

Making my imagination happen.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

Passing, by Paul O’Donnell

So much is broken
I despair
he says passing out from lack of air
It was no more than a passing dream to think
the passing of a law could mean passing through the past
The inciting incident, the protagonist’s resolve to repair
ignorance fear and anger living side by side in liminal space stretched.
Searching for the prophylactic fountain to wash away despair
Farfetched
But passing laws passed through the fragile membrane made of the
dreams of gilded fossils giving
no more than a passing glance
with few words passing between them.
How could it not be broken?
Only the words Black Lives Matter, matter
No forgiveness can be asked. Forgiving is an act of power bestowed
granted by the weak with feelings of remorse
Atone is at and one
there the difference lies.

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