Michael Hartnett’s death, at the age of 58, robbed poetry readers of one of Ireland’s beloved authors. His Collected Poems represents a body of work which is etched indelibly in contemporary literature.
Seamus Heaney noted his ‘focus and intensity . . . He followed his own impulse and never had his eye on any audience. Lovable yet separate, operating within his own field of force. I’ll never forget reading his first short hypnotic poems in the early sixties; they had a kind of Orphic throb, as if a new Lorca had emerged from Newcastle West. In fact, Michael shared Lorca’s ability to combine avant-garde daring with native tradition; he took the boldest of technical and emotional risks, living in and through and for his poetry to the end.’
His work is marked by a rare lyric grace, a humane perspective and delicacy of touch. This is a major Irish writer, the owner of a unique voice whose confidence and ingenuity are lifted by a quiet waywardnesss. As Seamus Heaney said, ‘He’s not like anybody else.’ This book richly demonstrates the truth of that observation.
— Patricia Craig, TLS
A wonderful book of loves and sorrows by a writer who is wise to ‘the ways / of cities’ and ‘all the perversions of the soul . . . learnt on a small farm’. Lines tap into something ancient, darkly mythical and yet (they are) workaday. His is an extraordinary gift — there is much to learn from this Collected Poems.
— Michael A Kinsella, PN Review
Year Published: 2001
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 295 0