From ‘the blood that’s bloomed above the wound’s neat hole’ to ‘harsher truths that hit home hour after hour’ Ciaran Berry fixes his unflinching stare on an astounding range of subjects – ‘foundlings’ out of history’s long corridor, Donegal fences, Belfast in the War years, immigrant workers from Ireland, a rogue elephant in Coney Island (1903), a high-wire walker, and the beekeeper’s art.
From the fact of blindness to the act of seeing there is a surgical precision to his descriptions and reports. By way of the circuits of his meditations, curiosity and learning lead to the realm of discovery and elucidate often arcane mysteries. Sure-footed and steady paced this first collection reveals an uncommon capacity to sustain tension over long lines and, even, extended poems. The Sphere of Birds is a remarkably impressive, eclectic and accomplished debut.