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New and Selected Poems draws on Pat Boran’s four previous and out-of-print full-length collections, The Unwound Clock (1990), Familiar Things (1993), The Shape of Water (1996) and As the Hand, the Glove (2001), and also includes work from the 1990 chapbook History and Promise as well as a number of new and uncollected poems. Poet and critic Dennis O’Driscoll provides an introductory essay to the work of a younger Irish poet whom he calls ‘a poet of mystery and fulfilment, of the eternal and numinous no less than the earthly and everyday.’
‘Pat Boran’s New & Selected Poems will be a revelation to many readers, showing the true scale of his achievement. His voice is unique within contemporary Irish poetry. He writes with exactitude and stark brevity, careful to strip away all superfluous flourishes, as he equally celebrates and scrutinises the apparently familiar within the rigors of a universal and scientific context. His poems are tautly wrought and finely tested. His great achievement is to make the local seem recognisable and precisely recorded and yet transformed by being shot through by his language, so that he stands both within and outside his own life. Boran is like a chart-maker at sea, allowing each weighted line to unfurl down into the dark waters where he can gauge its correct length and map out depths that went previously uncharted.’ —Dermot Bolger
‘Pat Boran’s poems make magic out of found things, and his metaphors light the dark like Roman candles. He is a master of his language; beyond that, he makes poetry matter to me again. This is a book for your friends and confidants. A young Catullus is writing.’ —Gerard Donovan
‘In Pat Boran’s poetry, stylish and learned as it is, the humanity has always been to the forefront. As Dennis O’Driscoll says in his characteristically just introduction, the publication of this ample selection of Boran’s poems is greatly to be applauded. Much admired and appreciated as he is, seeing the work extensively like this is a revelation, from the complex meditations on place and home and leaving in the 1990 poems, to the unsentimental facing of his father’s death, and the sureness of eye in the elegies and observations in the new poems.’ —Bernard O’Donoghue, The Irish Times
‘Boran’s breadth of references is wide, ranging from science to philosophy to religion, but it is his fascination with language, and the objects that can embody ideas and his ability to convey such complex ideas in the most accessible of ways, which is one of his most remarkable qualities as a poet.’ —Nessa O’Mahony, Orbis
‘This is a delightful collection of some of the best of Pat Boran’s work. It is a ‘landscape of artistic definition’, a close encounter with a poet whose work captures moods and moments, people and places, loves and losses, and, in doing so, reveals an interesting, insightful and always imaginative perspective.’ —Madeleine Lombard, The Furrow
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