Book Reviews: On Ballycastle Beach; Against Piety: Essays in Irish Poetry; Heart of Hearts;.
Of Medbh McGuckian's work so far, I would suggest that On Ballycastle Beach and the preceeding collection Venus and the Rain, contain her most satisfying and characteristic poems.This Gallery Press edition of On Ballycastle Beach is described as "revised", but the revisions of the material in the 1988 OUP edition are minimal .Against Piety gathers a dozen articles on recent Irish poets by Gerald Dawe, one of the most active commentators on the current poetry scene.Heart of Hearts is Dawe's fourth collection, and his first since Sunday School (1991). Here, as previously, his poems are characteristically spare and understated; he is content to leave much unsaid, particularly when it comes to drawing conclusions.
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