Collected Poems Paperback – 24 Sep 2013
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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. --Jon McAuliffe, Irish Times, on Collected Poems
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
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
About the Author
Micheal O'Siadhail [pronounced Mee-hall Oh Sheel] is a prolific Irish poet whose work sets the intensities of a life against the background of worlds shaken by change. His Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2013) draws on thirteen previous collections, nine of these published by Bloodaxe. He constantly seeks new dimensions through his poetry: examining the passions of friendship, marriage, trust and betrayal in an urban culture, tracing the intricacies of music and science as he tries to shape an understanding of the shifts and transformations of late modernity. In Musics of Belonging: The Poetry of Micheal O'Siadhail (Carysfort Press, 2007), the book's co-editor David F. Ford lists O'Siadhail's characteristic themes as 'despair, women, love, friendship, language, school, vocation, music, city life, science and other cultures and histories. There is a wrestle for meaning, with no easy resolution - both the form and the content are hard-won.' Jazz is leitmotiv throughout his work. Born in 1947, he was educated at Clongowes Wood College, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Oslo. He has been a lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and a professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Among his many academic works are Learning Irish (Yale University Press, 1988) and Modern Irish (Cambridge University Press, 1989). He is a fluent speaker of a surprising number and range of languages, including Norwegian, Icelandic, German, Welsh and Japanese. As well as some of the great English-language writers (Donne, Milton, Yeats, Kavanagh), his main influences include much literature in other languages, read and assimilated in the original (Irish monastic and folk poetry, Dante, Rilke, Paul Valery, Karin Boye, the Eddas and the Sagas). In 1987 he resigned his professorship order to write poetry full-time, supported by giving numerous readings in many parts of the world. He won the Marten Toonder Prize for Literature in 1998. He lives in Booterstown, on the edge of Dublin Bay.