The poems in Maurice Riordan's second collection are unusual in their recourse to the humanist belief in poetry as one of the forms of knowledge, imparting information about the observable world; but they also mix ancient wisdom (signs and wonders) with the open-ended science of the quantum age. Riordan's vision is syncretist. The old and new coexist - interrogating the book's epigraph that 'time is what keeps everything from happening at once' - and this informs his more personal poems: childhood memories of rural Ireland and poems of irretrievable loss nuanced with the restorative intimation that time's arrow is not, perhaps, relentlessly linear.
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(199mm x 127mm x 7mm)
Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
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UK Kirkus Review »
This masterly second collection, full of eloquence and enigma, has thoughtful meditations on death and science, as well as a handful of worldly-wise lyrics on love and rejection. The book is strongly based in the physical, with surreal offshoots aplenty. Riordan's shape-shifting work takes us constantly by surprise, as one mood or theme flows into its opposite. Some of the pieces here are challengingly cryptic, like riddles; others take us on long voyages of mental exploration, leaving us on waking on a strange hillside, colder but wiser. The title poem is a tour de force of intuitive reasoning that takes us far from the empirical. A book of exceptional range and sharpness. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Maurice Riordan
Maurice Riordan was born in 1953 in Lisgoold, Co. Cork. His first collection, A Word from the Loki (1995) was nominated for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Floods (2000) was a Book of the Year in both the Sunday Times and Irish Times. The Holy Land (2007) won the Michael Hartnett Award. He lives in London and has taught at Imperial College and Goldsmiths College, and is currently Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2013 Riordan was appointed Editor of Poetry Review.