Talk, Talk



Peter Sirr’s first collection, Marginal Zones, was hailed by Eavan Boland in The Irish Times as ‘a distinguished, convincing debut by an evidently gifted poet’, while Thomas McCarthy enthused in Poetry Ireland Review, ‘Peter Sirr’s first book is a joy to read . . . (He) has a technical prowess of extraordinary maturity . . . spectacularly gifted . . .’

His second book, Talk, Talk, is even more mature and accomplished. Its poems are connected by biographical fact and by their focus on moments of doubt, the bizarre precariousness of everything objects, emotions, lives. One section traces the progress of a love affair, another attempts to come to terms with the poet’s father’s death. Part of the atmosphere of these poems derives from their setting in a foreign country, surrounded by a foreign language. In some, language itself is used as a metaphor. The poems in Talk, Talk have clearly answered an insistent demand. They draw on and support each other in playful, honest and diverse ways.

Peter Sirr’s poetry . . . draws its strength from exile and return. Disavowing settled roots, the poems in Talk, Talk celebrate contingency . . . and what is impressive in these poems in the manner in which casualness becomes an aesthetic force.

— Conor Kelly, The Irish Times

Peter Sirr has lost none of his mastery of the tension between surface and interior life and his work is still suffused with probing incredulity at the strangeness and impermanence of the world . . . Sirr’s maturity continually strikes and his artistry grows apace . . . he strides forward to become, I am sure, one of our outstanding poets.

— Tom Clyde, Fortnight

Each of the book’s three parts begins with low-key, even banal poems and then builds to an astonishing pitch of energy and skill . . . In Talk,Talk a maturity gives depth to the skill found in Sirr’s earlier work, and marks a significant and striking development.

— Philip Casey, The Irish Times

Peter Sirr has a fine facility for dragging the reader into his obsessions
without as much as a by your leave, pulling him relentlessly on to the last line, where he, the reader, sits back in wonderment.

— Paddy Kehoe, In Dublin

Year Published: 1987
Details: 72pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 018 5
ISBN HBK: 978 1 85235 019 2

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