Her mind is astonishing, her range prodigious . . . All of her work has that sense of clairvoyance, of being able to apprehend more than what is offered or obvious in everyday life.
— Thomas McCarthy, Poetry Ireland Review
Medbh McGuckian’s twelfth collection, this ‘autumnal journal’, takes as one of its themes the tracing of a poem’s source and evolution in the conflict of opposites — the elements, the male and female principles, the play of season and light, the confusion between war and peace. Other entries in this introspective book mirror states of feeling including the prelude to a moment of crisis in the author’s life. Bereft by the loss of Marconi’s Cottage, her beloved seaside summer dwelling, she turns for inspiration to the hinterland of the ‘new Belfast’ in an endeavor to pinpoint the relevance or rightful place of the feminine in relation to the contemporary poetic tradition.
Medbh McGuckian’s unique meld of metaphor, private — yet intimate — tones, and lyric force testify to the healing alchemy of art.