Available in Paperback only
Coady is a fine and tried poet by any critical measure, and this collection confirms his reputation. He ranges widely, but his poem dedicated to the late Dennis O’Driscoll, who died on Christmas Eve 2012, is quite extraordinary in its depth of humanity, concern, and simple, almost casual, elegance:
How strange—yet not strange at all
since life was in full swing—that on that afternoon
while I played at being my own
in High Street, Kilkenny,
you were headed into mystery
of ultimate lift-off . . .
Black-and-white photos pop up like illuminations in an ancient text, not so much explaining as decorating the text and subtly, perhaps, directing us to ideas of place. Prose pieces feature too, one striking example being Coady’s ‘Palestrina’ and ‘Amigo Holden of the Hill’, which is a meditation on a local `character’ and on greater things, such as a cowboy-movie-drenched childhood and mortality’s relentless ability to reduce everything to shreds of memory.
Coady makes no apology for rendering into story-in-verse the local and the loved, and this in itself creates a particular energy that vitalises his work. This is one of the great virtues of Coady’s poetry, this ‘amplifying’ of ordinary histories, stories, lives, into something that shouts rather than whispers, or, perhaps more accurately, sings. This is the plainchant of observed life. And few poets can compose its equal.
— Fred Johnston, Books Ireland
Year Published: 2017
ISBN PBK: 978 1 91133 730 0
ISBN HBK: 978 1 91133 731 7