By Theo Dorgan

What This Earth Cost Us

This book gathers in the poems from Theo Dorgan’s first two collections of poems, The Ordinary House of Love and Rosa Mundi in a single volume.


Theo Dorgan’s first two collections of poems, The Ordinary House of Love and Rosa Mundi have long been out of print. This book gathers in the poems from those earlier books in a single volume and brings them to a wider audience.

“No contemporary British writer could risk, as Dorgan does in ‘A Charm on the Night of Your Birthday’, “I light the sky above our bed for you/ with seven stars of gold, ploughing/ the deep for you—” though many might give their writing hand for the debunking wit with which he continues: “and that’s not so hard/ when you are the sea”. Such fluency between registers, as between worlds, is one of the things we most want from poetry, and this book delivers it throughout.”
— Fiona Sampson, The Irish Times

ISBN 9781904556930 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 170 pp

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781904556930
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 170 pp
  • Published: : 2008

About The Author


Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953. He is a poet, prose writer, documentary screenwriter, editor, translator and broadcaster. Dedalus reissued his first two poetry collections, The Ordinary House of Love (1991) and Rosa Mundi 1995) in a single volume, What This Earth Cost Us, in 2008. His most recent collections are Greek (2010) and Nine Bright Shiners (2014). Songs of Earth and Light, his versions from the Slovenian of Barbara Korun, appeared in 2005 (Southword Editions), and his translation of the poems of Maram Al Masri's Barefoot Souls appeared in 2015. He has also published a selected poems in Italian, La Case ai Margini del Mundo (Moby Dick, 1999), and a Spanish translation of his long poem Sappho’s Daughter La Hija de Safo (Poesía Hiperión, 2001). Dorgan's prose account of a transatlantic crossing under sail, Sailing For Home, was published by Penguin Ireland in 2004 and reissued by Dedalus in 2010. His libretto Jason And The Argonauts, to music by Howard Goodall, was commissioned by and premiered at The Royal Albert Hall, London in 2004. A further prose book, Time On The Ocean: A Voyage from Cape Horn to Cape Town, was published by New Island in 2010. He has edited The Great Book of Ireland (with Gene Lambert, 1991); Revising the Rising (with Máirín Ní Dhonnachadha, 1991); Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 1996); Watching the River Flow (with Noel Duffy, Dublin, Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, 1999); The Great Book of Gaelic (with Malcolm Maclean, Edinburgh, Canongate, 2002); and The Book of Uncommon Prayer (Dublin, Penguin Ireland, 2007). A former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, Theo Dorgan has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television. He was presenter of Poetry Now on RTÉ Radio 1, and later presented RTÉ's TV books programme, Imprint.
 His awards include the Listowel Prize for Poetry, 1992, and The O'Shaughnessy Prize For Irish Poetry 2010. A member of Aosdána, he served on The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon 2003–2008. Theo Dorgan lives in Dublin.