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Description - The Holy Land by Maurice Riordan

At the heart of Maurice Riordan's third collection is a sequence of eighteen dramatic idylls set in rural Cork in the 1950s, in which the subdued microcosm of farm and smallholding - of boundary, townland and parish - is defined through the individual voices of the poets father and assorted friends, farmhands and neighbours.The settings of these loosely contiguous fragments almost casually define a historical community, ranging around farm and fields, through furze and ragwort, headland and plantation, haggard and Bog - tracing the immemorial scenes of traditional farming life. The tentative oral fluidity of these remarkable poems flickers on the borderline of prose, resolving complexities into an impression of timeless pastoral life, at once archaic yet precisely pitched in time. Other poems in The Holy Land proffer alternative forms of capture and recapture, and resemble light-sensitive plates storing and restoring what one poem refers to as 'the understory'.Thus the stilled life of 1950s rural Ireland is recreated, with echoes of classical models such as Theocritus, or of traditional Irish material from the Fenian cycle, celebrating 'the music of what happens.' As Patrick Kavanagh wrote in his poem 'Epic': 'I have lived in important places, times when great events were decided: who owned that half a rood of rock '

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780571234646
ISBN-10: 057123464X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x mm)
Pages: 64
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 1-Feb-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Maurice Riordan

Maurice Riordan has published two collections of poetry, A Word from the Loki (1995) and Floods (2000) - and is co-editor of two anthologies, A Quark for Mister Mark: 101 Poems about Science (2001) and Wild Reckoning: an anthology provoked by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (2004). He teaches creative writing at Imperial College London.

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