By Pat Boran

Waveforms: Bull Island Haiku

Pat Boran’s haiku sequence (or rensaku) celebrates the 200-year old island in Dublin Bay.
[A]n exquisitely designed pocket-sized book … Pat Boran has rendered the small and not so small world of Bull island with precision, thoughtfulness and sheer easy artistry.  Employing the ‘venerable form’ of the haiku, he has enlivened it and captured the island. Just as the island appeared out of the blue two hundred years ago, it embodies, with its ecosystem and day-trippers, a certain fragility and transience applicable to all of us.
Journal of Irish Studies (Japan)


Pat Boran’s haiku sequence (or rensaku) explores the flora and fauna of Dublin Bay’s (North) Bull Island, a land mass formed by the changing currents in the bay after the construction of the North Bull Wall (between 1820–25) in an effort to improve access to the port. Boran’s rhyming haiku observe the interplay of bird, human and plant life on the island, and celebrate the delicate balance of a biosphere on the very doorstep of Ireland’s capital city. The book is illustrated by the author’s own photographs of the island, taken over the course of a year of daily visits.



Waves themselves, their wings
flashing silver when they turn
as one – the starlings.


Maids from Cabra West,
Painted Lady butterflies
up from Marrakech …


Old man in a car
staring out to sea, Tosca
singing from the heart.


“Sharply entertaining and perceptive … Waveforms: Bull Island Haiku” includes “scores of haiku with Boran’s photographs, each a telling monochrome moment of its own … if you’ve ever wondered what this ancient poetic form can offer today, try this little book for €10.” – Michael Viney, The Irish Times

“A homage in haiku to the airy, aqueous spirit of that legendary stretch of land …” RTÉ TEN. Read the full review HERE.

Waveforms: Bull Island Haiku is published by Orange Crate Books and distributed by Dedalus Press.

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 978 0 993172 60 1
  • Size: : 155 x 105 mm
  • Pages: : 120 pp
  • Published: : April 2015

About The Author


PAT BORAN is an Irish poet, editor and film maker. He was born in 1963 in Portlaoise, in the Irish midlands, and has long since lived in Dublin. One of the best known Irish poets of his generation, he was Writer-in-Residence with Dublin City Libraries, Dublin City University and the Western Education and Library Board in Fermanagh. He is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, most recently Then Again (Dedalus Press, 2019) and Waveforms: Bull Island Haiku (Orange Crate Books, 2016) with photographs by the author. The Statues of Emo Court (2021), Building the Ark (2022) and On a wave of Light (2022) are single-poem volumes, with photographs by the author. A Man Is Only As Good: A Pocket Selected Poems was published in 2017 by Orange Crate Books. Editions of his poetry have been published in Italian, Hungarian, Macedonian and Portuguese, with further works in progress. Pat Boran's non-fiction includes the popular writers' handbook The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (various editions) and A Short History of Dublin (Mercier Press). His humorous memoir The Invisible Prison: Scenes from an Irish Childhood, was published by Dedalus Press in 2009 and published in Italian as Un'Infanzia Irlandese in 2019 by Edizioni Kolibris. A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review and a former presenter of The Poetry Programme and The Enchanted Way on RTÉ Radio 1, Pat Boran has edited numerous anthologies of Irish poetry, among them Wingspan: A Dedalus Sampler (2006), Flowing, Still: Irish Poets on Irish Poetry (2009), The Bee-Loud Glade (2009), Shine On: Irish writers supporting those affected by mental ill health (2011), the 2014 Dublin One City, One Book choice If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (with co-editor Gerard Smyth) and, with co-editor Eugene O'Connell, The Deep Heart's Core: Irish Poets Revisit a Touchstone Poem (2017). During lockdown in Spring 2020 he edited the popular anthology, The Word Ark: A Pocket Book of Animal Poems, illustrated by Sicilian artist Gaetano Tranchino. Since 2020 he has made more than a dozen short poetry films which have shown at film and literary festivals all over the world. Pat Boran’s distinctions include The Patrick Kavanagh Award and the US-based Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of creative artists. (See also