Local Habitations and Names.
Pat Boran, New and Selected Poems: Joseph Woods, Bearings: Thomas McCarthy, Merchant Prince:
Three books here from Irish poets, each of them with a different English publisher but with a clear sense of an Irish locale. Pat Boran's New and Selected poems contains a generous selection of poems from five previous collections published over the past decade and a half, and eleven new poems. It allows us an overview of a voice that has become a steady presence in Irish writing, at once playful and unshowy. His early poems are observational and descrÃptive. Many of them are carried by the characters named or unnamed, on whom they focus: Casey, the foreman on a London building site, Martin Drennan from Ballydavis, a drummer in an Irish country and western band, an Americal juggler on Grafton Street. Sometimes these characters are celebrated for their personality, especially if they have a quirkness about them.
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