Robert Breen "Fire Poet"

Robert Breen "Fire Poet"

Robert Breen "Fire Poet"Robert Breen "Fire Poet"Robert Breen "Fire Poet"



Introducing Undertow: A Tidal Pool of Poems 

Robert (Bobby) Breen's newest collection of 75 poems.  

"In Breen's poems the oblique adventures of a boy's feet find affection in a grown man's eye, mischief found innocent by the unflinching Jesuit, a boy's suffering of rejection is fused in the hazards of hard life with the dignified exuberance of a lover."
- Richard Taylor, poet, author, educator, coach, Fulbright scholar

"Breen's work is of a vintage. It's been brewing for a long time! His poems let us in on a world both private and public, where 'We share the adventure.' Out of myth and meter he spins the yarn. From the streets of Boston to the coast of Maine, his words stand clear. He has the fire in his belly and he has given us a good read."

- Steve Luttrell, Portland, Maine poet laureate (2010-2012); founder and publishing editor of The Cafe Review

Available for purchase at:

Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick 

The Mustard Seed, Bath

Sherman's Bookstores, All locations

Print:A Bookstore Portland

Water Street Antiques Books Wiscasset 


Gulf of Maine Books

Gulf of Maine Books

Gulf of Maine Books

134 Maine St.

Brunswick, ME



Gulf of Maine Books

Gulf of Maine Books

Multiple Locations

More information at :

Print: A Bookstore

Print: A Bookstore

Print: A Bookstore

                   273 Congress St.

                Portland ME 

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Bobby Breen in Conversation

The Helicon

Bellaghy, Northern Ireland

A conversation with Bobby Breen. 

His Boston fireman’s gift With BREEN in scarlet lacquer on its spread Fantailing brim’ ‘Helmet’, Seamus Heaney

Bobby Breen, Boston firefighter and poet, was immortalized in Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Helmet’. We are delighted to welcome him to HomePlace, where he will talk about the now famous meeting that led to that poem, and read from his own work.

Bobby was born and raised in Boston, where he graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science. After his decades-long career as a firefighter, he retired, taking his love of writing to the next level by entering graduate school and attending the summer writing program at Harvard University. In 2015 he was awarded the Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award 

The Helicon Sunday 16 September 2018, 15:00

Book tickets now 


Boston Literary Magazine  March 2020 

A Boy Who Jumped Out of a Night Sky 

 So much depends

 on fast wheels

 of a red fire truck 

arriving your lifeless form 

lying in the street

face expressive 

as Donatella’s David


you should have grown

to an elderly future 

with children

and grandchildren 

of your own

expiring some

idol summers eve 

in your solitary garden

not this dreadful loss

of the secret chord

you might have played 

for your beloved

your bright white-shining sneakers 

and tailored denim jeans 

suggest abundant care

given to one so young

Your towhead hair

falls across an angelic

now sunken adolescent face

encircled by a bright red halo

this little island

gone so silent

I do not hear

the steady traffic

flowing all around me

as we await the coroner

knowing his status update

will not shield

your parent’s pain

my breath catches imagining

with cradled helmet

under one arm

open to a taciturn heaven

wondering what Goliath

rules this day I rue

A Widow of Dublin

for Marie Heaney

Their known Sagittarius Moon shone full-bright.

This couple cast stones at a sprig of

mistletoe till it fell to her left hand.

Their walk was a bit slower this new year

through a forest of yew, oak, and beech.

Traditions of their tribes have all but fallen

away; magick of keeping families

safe, with a Norse, Irish primeval myth.

Now children pick the white berries on

Christmas Eve for a secretive kiss.

Fierce lightning, seeds-of-fire poetry 

that burnt so bright in him kindly turned 

to that fall Golden Bough. Strolling on this

Midsummer’s Night, she’s unable to

bring herself to toss a stone alone.


The Verve of Latin 

With the passing of twenty-seven hundred years, 

the structure eternally holds to the letter of the law.

The old language is

Age-old language; here

A shift took hold. Then

The barbarian

Appears at the gate.

Rome fell to the sword 

With its spear & grief.

Broken shields, hammered 

Vowels, nouns, stairway

Ascending, climbed the

Old helix into

God’s mirror. Now words

Sink as careful dew

On the soft green hills.

Warrior children

Of old Erin lay

Down their blades. Take up

Quills; spill ink with it. 

Scarred letters set in 

Mortar & stonewalls.  

Still, the dark held wealth. 

Words hold on until

Last it gives way to

Syllables anew, 

Harmony in tongues. 

A world saved once more,

On a new formed shore.   



Contact the Author

Robert Breen can be reached at or 978-807-6708