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Dissonances [Hardcover]

Nigel McLoughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: bluechrome Publishing; First Edition edition (10 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906061149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906061142
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,713,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


McLoughlin's fourth collection orbits around four poetic loci. Each of the sections exhibits a primary thematic focus; however threads of all the major themes cross into the other sections to create a rich weave of inter-juxtapositions. All of McLoughlin's concerns are represented: cultural and linguistic decay, eco-poetics, the modern rural, and the tension between oral and written traditions. He experiments with the short lyric to explore the dislocations and dissonances between his themes, and between the aural and oral qualities of verse and its various written manifestations. He tackles traditional forms, free verse, and fractured and exploded forms. The poems collude and collide to form a collection that foregrounds language in all its dissonant and disjointed richness. The work transmits a linguistic and semiotic energy and demands that the receiver take note.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Master 12 Sep 2008
By Rachel Green VINE VOICE

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars honest, real, innovative 8 May 2008
An engaging read, Nigel McLoughlin's fourth collection is Dissonances. Throughout its four diverse parts, these poems reach the reader on a sensory level, examining their subjects in microscopic detail, rendering even the most seemingly uninteresting facets of human experience infinitely fascinating. They open the reader's eyes to pockets of beauty in the mundane that are surprising to discover yet instantly familiar.

Though disparate in their forms and approaches, the thread that holds these poems together is a strong involvement in the study of nature, human nature and the forces that cause them to harmonise, clash in discord and intervolve.

Dedicated to his two sons, Dissonances reads like a poetic photograph album for their benefit, showing in vivid colour and amazing clarity, pictures of the world today which are sometimes general but often touchingly personal. And then there's the occasional sepia-toned photograph; an ancient family resemblance, familiar but unknown; a tie to the past that highlights similarities and differences between that time and this and shows the evolution of civilisation. Poems such as `A Hill Farmer Speaks', `Crosses' and `Cailleach' ache with love born of habit juxtaposed with the necessary forward movement of life.

McLoughlin unabashedly celebrates his absolute love of nature and the hour before "petrol-stink / and the shrink of people diminishing into a rush" (`Chorus') and expresses regret for the modern world's disregard for tradition. These sentiments send ripples throughout most of Dissonances.

Poems such as `Hunger' and `Fragment' demonstrate the extreme end of McLoughlin's apparent intention to make these poems really belong to the reader.
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