Celebrated poet Micheal O’Siadhail knows desire, love, trust, and wonder. He also intimately knows sorrow, suffering, tragedy, and loss. His life and his poetry have always yearned for meaning and virtue despite, and in the midst of, life’s pain.
This collection of poems, spanning four decades and drawing upon thirteen smaller collections, works both head and heart toward a mature and seasoned wisdom. The poems are not only richly personal, plumbing the depths of marriage, friendship, vocation, and grief, but they also engage with what matters most in culture and society—music, language, city life, and the dynamics of history.
O’Siadhail’s roots may be deeply Irish, but his poetry speaks for and to all.
O’Siadhail’s books in turn report and discuss his experiences, of school, a long marriage and, latterly, his responses to the Holocaust, globalisation and other languages. Those last two subjects are the starting points for his most recent collections, Globe (2007) and Tongues (2010), which are admirably interested in trying out new kinds of line and form as they jam together his disorienting sense of a changing world with his memories of what has disappeared.~John McAuliffe, Irish Times
One of our foremost poets…his work is that rare combination of the intellectual and the emotional.~Eugene O'Brien, The Irish Book Review
This is a vital book for anyone tracking the contemporary poetic landscape; it is the testament of a poet working not in a school or tradition, but rather as a ‘tradition-bearer, a memory-passer and a welcome’... years of reading, analysis, and generous artistry provide rich gifts for every reader.~Martyn Halsall, Church Times
If Micheal O'Siadhail weren't already a large figure in Irish literature, this enormous volume would raise a monument to him.~Brian Lynch, Irish Independent
The tone of O'Siadhail's voice is one of barely suppressed joy…exuberant, exploratory and incredibly entertaining.~Mary O'Donnell, Studies
O'Siadhail is both a poet of the world and for the world… his poetry is intricately complex yet accessible.~Richard Dilworth Rust, Irish Literary Supplement
A controlled sensuousness of language and it comes as near as poetry can, without being confessional, to conveying the overtones and textures of actual experience.~Anne Stevenson, Irish Poet