Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

"Globe" by Michael O'Siadhail (Bloodaxe, 2007)

He's written/edited thirteen collections, though I could find no online reviews of this book which one weighs in at 120 pages. Form is often used. Here's stanza 2 of "Touch-down"

Cold comfort in the cosy no-man's-land
Off huffing theorists busy trying to climb
Out of history, seeing everywhere deceits,
The half-aware cheatings of previous elites
Or reaching back to chide another time
Where long ago is a city build on sand

5 pages later "Footprint" begins "Sometimes ground vanishes under our feet/ As tidal waves of change sweep in so fast/ Over sand too shifting now for any retreat.. "Slope" begins

So frail the ways that we remember,
Episodes we fudge or blur,
The unconscious ember
We keep on raking over

(I presume there's "ember" rather than "embers" for the sake of rhyme) and later

Our slope of past climbed anew

To fight against the grinding dust
Of forgetfulness and snatch
The absent back? We trust
Now traces of our gone to catch

Between rungs of time's vertigo
Memories of things done
And hallow the dead we owe.

Too much seems rhyme-driven ("the dead we owe") or staid ("dust/ Of forgetfulness") or needlessly contorted ("traces of our gone"). After that I skimmed. There's a section of poems dedicated to people dead and alive - Mendel, Patrick Kavanagh, Shakespeare, Mandela, Gandhi, etc. The Mendel one looks informative.

Towards the end there's "Butterfly", a sonnet that starts

Yes now and again to feel so overpowered.
Could anything we ever do matter a whit?
Would-be dreams, seeds that never flowered,
A world just as it is and there you have it!


No comments:

Post a Comment