Seán Lysaght is a poet treasured for his explorations of the discipline of silence and watching. In Erris, his local focus is refracted through broader perspectives. His poems adopt a strategy by which a moment observing the natural landscape becomes a prelude to meditation while, in a sequence about his native city, a speaker plays devil’s advocate with ideas about the value of tradition in an Ireland hurrying to forsake it.
An extended narrative dramatizes a move westward, to Connacht, with all the tensions of that phrase’s unsaid counterpart. As his horses ‘knead the brown dough of the ground’ and a plane ‘pulls its thread across an azure afternoon and lets it fray’, Seán Lysaght infuses his poetry with history, memory and the joys of discovery in a new frontier.