A fascinating read that follows a man's love for his family and the world about him. Dissonances is Nigel McLoughlin's fourth collection of poetry and his finest.
I am put in mind of a series of Polaroid photographs, for that, in essence, is what these photographs are. Lyrical moments in time; a shutter of though and emotion upon subjects that are fleeting as a shaft of sunlight from a sky crowded with thunder clouds.
The volume, after a couple of poems relating to his toddler son, is divided into four parts. "Tales from Long Acre" juxtaposes the love of nature and McLoughlins absolute need to be in his beloved wilds with the press of life, the city stink and the urgent need of folk to be wherever they are not. "The Science of Signs" is a chapter of loss and the trying to understand what the world is trying to say. It is the photograph of an empty room, a child's coat, a discarded shoe on the roadside.
"Shrapnel" is the most difficult section. It throws words and phases like blood spatter upon the walls of consciousness. There is no map to read this work, and the juxtapositions are often unexpected and startling. The final section, "Second Sight" has a melancholy feel; the benefit of hindsight at the end of a hard-earned life.
A truly masterful collection of work, Dissonances deserves a place on every would be poet's shelf, for this man is surely a master of the art.