As If It Matters

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Praise for As If It Matters

"Eamon Grennan's poems are like late 20th century verbal equivalents of 17th century Dutch paintings. How luminously they capture the brimming fullness of daily life, how scrupulously they come to terms with the complex reality of the limited, given world, how radiantly they clarify 'the daily/ineluctable clutter of our lives.' These poems shine and matter."—Edward Hirsch

"This new collection contains some of his [Eamon Grennan's] most telling work, ...

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Overview

Praise for As If It Matters

"Eamon Grennan's poems are like late 20th century verbal equivalents of 17th century Dutch paintings. How luminously they capture the brimming fullness of daily life, how scrupulously they come to terms with the complex reality of the limited, given world, how radiantly they clarify 'the daily/ineluctable clutter of our lives.' These poems shine and matter."—Edward Hirsch

"This new collection contains some of his [Eamon Grennan's] most telling work, and with so fine a poet that is saying a great deal."—W.S. Merwin

Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1941, and educated at University College, Dublin, and Harvard University. His poems have been published widely in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including the Kenyon Review, New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Grand Street. His first U.S. book publication was What Light There Is (North Point, 1989). He is a professor of English at Vassar College, and spends his leave-time in Ireland.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At their best these competently executed poems record the naturalist's eye as it takes in fragments of the organic world. In the opening poem the fluttering hands of two old men recall ``the way painted monarchs stop / in the sun and stand, stunned, / in pure silence . . . .'' The precise image causes the reader not only to envision the old men but also to think again about the irregular movement of those autumn butterflies. Much of the collection is set in the country, with sheep and frogs, ``gruel-colored'' light and the poet gathering mussels in his Wellingtons. Nature is synchronized with domestic drama, the poet's love for the woman who bears his child, separation from his older children and his toddler's innocent play. Finally, this seems rather facile. The poet thinks about his friend who has been chopping wood, `` . . . this violent concentrated action / asserting ourselves to ourselves, the way we stand / and flail our way to freedom of a sort,'' a dated conception of freedom in our chaotic physical universe, which teaches the contradictory and conditional nature of action. Technically the poems, broken into stanzas of free verse, are also conventional. Grennan wrote What Light There Is. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Grennan's Irish passion for vowels and lyrical precision helped distinguish his first collection, What Light There Is ( LJ 6/15/89) from many others that appeared in the same year. Though his second continues to explore the familiar phenomena of nature and domestic life, letting things ``be their limited/ worldly selves,'' the music has given way to a more self-conscious, if eloquent, diction of rumination and remembrance (``I can see the children we were/ ghosting among the apple trees''). All but a handful of poems are first-person meditations, and too many turn on ambiguous images of light or shadow, ``on the brink of something/ always edging/ into shape, about to happen.'' Still, there is some serious squinting toward truth here, and when the poet lets himself step out of the way, we can nearly see it for ourselves.-- Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, N.Y.
From the Publisher
"Eamon Grennan's poems are like late 20th century verbal equivalents of 17th century Dutch paintings. How luminously they capture the brimming fullness of daily life, how scrupulously they come to terms with the complex reality of the limited, given world, how radiantly they clarify 'the daily/ineluctable clutter of our lives.' These poems shine and matter."—Edward Hirsch

"This new collection contains some of his [Eamon Grennan's] most telling work, and with so fine a poet that is saying a great deal."—W.S. Merwin

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555971540
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 10.52 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1941, and educated at University College, Dublin, and Harvard University. His poems have been published widely in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including the Kenyon Review, New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Grand Street. His first U.S. book publication was What Light There Is (North Point, 1989). He is a professor of English at Vassar College, and spends his leave-time in Ireland.

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