Mahon - Selected Poems

Overview

This newly expanded collection of Derek Mahon's poems includes substantial portions of two earlier volumes, The Hudson Letter and The Yellow Book, and concludes with even more recent work. Mahon blends a respect for structure with a modernist style in evocative verses that are abstract yet substantial and combines solid images from nature with elusive, complex human thoughts.

Author Biography: Derek Mahon was born in Belfast. A journalist, screenwriter, and theater critic, he ...

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Overview

This newly expanded collection of Derek Mahon's poems includes substantial portions of two earlier volumes, The Hudson Letter and The Yellow Book, and concludes with even more recent work. Mahon blends a respect for structure with a modernist style in evocative verses that are abstract yet substantial and combines solid images from nature with elusive, complex human thoughts.

Author Biography: Derek Mahon was born in Belfast. A journalist, screenwriter, and theater critic, he has published several works of poetry. He is a member of the Royal Society of Literature and has won many awards, including the Lannan Award and the C. K. Scott-Moncrieff Translation Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Hugh Haughton
Verse of astonishing versatility and singing power. —Times Literary Supplement
Seamus Heaney
There is a copiousness and excitement about these poems found only in work of the highest order.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mahon, one of the most prominent contemporary Northern Irish poets, is unparalleled in his metrical and formal virtuosity. It's strange, then, that this is the first American edition of his poetry. His work may have taken longer to reach an American audience because of his almost neoclassical sensibility, a more distanced emotional tone than we are used to. In poem after poem, the writer uses his incisive line to illuminate history and personality, nature and culture, as in the often praised ``A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford'': ``Deep in the grounds of a burnt-out hotel, / Among the bathtubs and the washbasins / A thousand mushrooms crowd to a keyhole.'' This elegiac vision of trapped and forgotten lives bespeaks Mahon's gift for discovering personae that beg us ``to speak on their behalf.'' The strength of his work is not observation, but imagination; as he puts it in ``Tractatus,'' the world is ``everything that is the case imaginatively.'' Mahon is also a preserver and practitioner of wit in its original sense, a quality we may have forgotten how to appreciate. A caveat: revised versions of some poems tend to smooth over the rough detail or the coarse word, thus reducing contrast, as though the poet believed that simple brilliance (technical, emotional) could not stand alone. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670835751
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/5/1992
  • Series: Poets Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Spring in Belfast 1
Glengormley 2
In Carrowdore Churchyard 3
First Love 4
De Quincey in Later Life 5
An Unborn Child 7
After the Titanic 9
No Rest for the Wicked 10
A Dying Art 12
Ecclesiastes 13
A Tolerable Wisdom 14
Two Songs for Doreen 15
An Image from Beckett 16
J. P. Donleavy's Dublin 18
Lives 19
I Am Raftery 22
Beyond Howth Head 23
Homage to Malcolm Lowry 30
A Curious Ghost 31
The Snow Party 32
The Last of the Fire Kings 34
Gipsies 36
The Mayo Tao 37
The Apotheosis of Tins 38
Light Music 40
Ford Manor 46
Penshurst Place 47
The Mute Phenomena 48
The Banished Gods 49
A Refusal to Mourn 51
A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford 54
Autobiographies 57
Going Home 62
The Chinese Restaurant in Portrush 65
Camus in Ulster 66
North Wind: Portrush 67
Courtyards in Delft 70
Rathlin 72
Derry Morning 73
Rock Music 75
The Attic 77
Everything is Going to be All Right 78
Heraclitus on Rivers 79
The Sea in Winter 80
Hunger 84
Tractatus 86
Katie at the Pool 86
Morning Radio 87
The Drawing Board 89
One of These Nights 90
A Garage in Co. Cork 93
The Woods 95
Craigvara House 98
After Pasternak 101
The Globe in Carolina 104
The Hunt by Night 107
Girls on the Bridge 109
Brighton Beach 111
Achill 113
Ovid in Tomis 114
Antarctica 121
Kinsale 122
Dawn at St. Patrick's 123
Northern Star 126
Noon at St. Michael's 128
Galatea 130
The Yaddo Letter 133
from The Hudson Letter 138
from The Yellow Book 166
A Dirge 195
Ghosts 198
Roman Script 199
'Shapes and Shadows' 204
A Swim in Co. Wicklow 206
The Dream Play 208
St. Patrick's Day 210
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