Published posthumously, Collected, a book of poems and translations, celebrates a sorely lamented voice in Irish poetry. Inevitably, Seán Dunne’s three collections are the quoinstones of this book. Included also are unpublished and previously uncollected works, notably his long ‘Letter from Ireland’ and a substantial selection of translations from Anna Akhmatova.
Peter Fallon’s ‘Afterwords’ describes Seán Dunne’s enduring themes, his hungers and his spiritual growth, and the arc of his emergence as a quietly insistent and necessary poet. More than twenty years ago (in what has proved a prescient review), Brendan Kennelly applauded Seán Dunne’s ‘dedication and accomplishment . . . constantly pitting his own values against the pain, suffering, violence and futility of the world. And his values are strong, perhaps lasting ones’ — a judgement this ample collection corroborates.
Seán Dunne seems able to produce wonderful poems with an ease and voluptuousness reminiscent of Heaney. His images have the texture of experience rather than mere observation . . . For Dunne, humanity subsists most fully in what appears peripheral: a moment of silence or endurance, a pair of glasses in a drawer, a patch of dried flour on a recipe book.
—Hugh Bredin, Fortnight Magazine
. . . the somber landscape of Seán Dunne’s ‘Letter from Ireland’ in which individual life and social tragedy are intertwined with a power and passion reminiscent of Yeats . . .
— David McDuff, Stand Magazine
Clearly this is the work of an open, restless, live poet — certainly one not playing with language but shaken by ideas and images . . . no reviewer will question for a moment that it is poetry in the full meaning of that tired word.
— Books Ireland
Year Published: 2005
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 394 0
ISBN HBK: 978 1 85235 395 7