Seán Lysaght’s new collection opens with a sequence on the landmarks and wild creatures of his adopted territory in north Mayo.
These poems are a prelude to a longer work where the angler protagonist goes in search of salmon and sea trout along an unidentified river. In the process of an encounter with this treasured heritage he must also come to terms with an historical legacy of suffering and deprivation, which in turn gives a new urgency to his view of the natural world. The third section comprises a set of poems on the Sweeney legend using images and insights from Lysaght’s beloved bird lore. Approaching the mediaeval bird-man through the lens of the scientist delivers surprising variations on a traditional story.
Throughout this collection we see the poet’s familiar landscape ranged in a new field of vision. This latest engagement with nature and tradition marks The Mouth of a River as Seán Lysaght’s most ambitious, impressive and appealing book to date.