Poems by John Montague, admired and loved, long ago etched themselves in the consciousness and culture of Ireland. At once prophetic and taking the measure of his family’s, his province’s and his country’s travails, they introduced an international breadth to Irish poetry in the middle of the 20th-century. Selected Poems 1961-2017 draws on each of John Montague’s collections, from Poisoned Lands (1961) and his major orchestrations (The Rough Field, 1972, The Great Cloak, 1978, and The Dead Kingdom, 1984) to the books which followed the publication of Collected Poems (1995) including his posthumous Second Childhood (2017). It isolates the solos from the larger musical arrangements and exalts a poet of enduring value.
Chosen by Peter Fallon, his editor for more than thirty years, it displays the highlights of what Seamus Heaney described as ‘an oeuvre of epic sweep and lyric intensity’.