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Carrying the Songs
RRP: GBP£ 8.95
Available from: Buy now from Amazon
ISBN: 978 1 847778 40 6
Categories: 21st Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2011
126 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback
A word does not head out alone.
It is carried about the way something essential,
a blade, say, or a bowl,
is brought from here to there when there is work to be done.
Sometimes, after a long journey,
it is pressed into a different service.
Carrying the Songs explores what is lost to time and change, and what endures and is transformed: languages and landscapes, artefacts and songs, carried through a lifetime, across oceans, across centuries. A long-forgotten Gaelic word surfaces from childhood and is reanimated by use; a tiny Stone Age carving speaks across millennia of a shared human impulse to create. At the heart of this collection is migration, the rhythm that draws together the natural and the human worlds. Luminous and precise, Moya Cannon's poetry resonates like remembered songs.
Included with the new poems in Carrying the Songs is a generous selection of the poems from Moya Cannon's much-praised earlier collections, Oar and The Parchment Boat.
'These wonderful poems lay down not just a landscape and a history, but a music which is all their own, through which the reader can enter a unique dialogue between elegy and celebration.' - Eavan Boland
Winter Birds 13
Carrying the Songs 14
Our Words 16
First Poetry 17
Forgetting Tulips 18
Oughterard Lemons 21
Golden Lane 22
Bright City 27
Walking out to Island Eddy 29
Sheep at Night in the InaghValley 30
To Colmcille Returning 37
Going for Milk 38
Vogelherd Horse, 30,000 BC 49
The Force 51
Eagles’ Rock 55
Holy Well 56
Thirst in the Burren 57
Tree Stump 61
Turf Boats 62
No Sense in Talking 64
The Foot of Muckish 67
Listening Clay 68
Narrow Gatherings 73
Dark Spring 75
Wet Doves 76
Crow’s Nest 78
After the Burial 79
Sympathetic Vibration 80
Votive Lamp 82
Murdering the Language 88
Hunter’s Moon 89
Ontario Drumlin 90
Patched Kayak 91
Viola d’Amore 95
Arctic Tern 96
Winter Paths 98
Easter Houses 103
Song in Windsor, Ontario 104
Driving through Light inWest Limerick 105
An Altered Gait 108
Between the Jigs and theReels 112
'These wonderful poems lay down not just a landscape and a history, but a music which is all their own, through which the reader can enter a unique dialogue between elegy and celebration.'
Praise for Moya Cannon 'These wonderful poems lay down not just a landscape and a history, but a music which is all their own, through which the reader can enter a unique dialogue between elegy and celebration.'
'In this new collection, Moya Cannon, through intent attention to light and sound and the natural materials that produce them, touches the very principle of life itself. Hands is a profoundly moving set of meditations on what it means to be alive, physically and emotionally.'
Bernard O'Donoghue 'Its sterling qualities are manifest and manifold: a deep interiority and soaring lyricism, and an ability to produce what Tim Robinson has termed 'geophany', a showing forth of the earth.'
Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill 'The intensely lyrical musings on life, landscape and love stir the heart, disturb the settled thought and, more in this collection than in the earlier, soothe the soul. Like her fellow northerner, Seamus Heaney, Cannon digs deep with the pen. And whilst the theme of sea voyaging and water inform the titles of both her books, that which the earth throws up is of equal fascination.'
The Cork Examiner 'Her newly published second collection, The Parchment Boat contains the subtly evoked passion and meditative restraint that was distinctive in Oar, her first collection.'
The Irish Times 'All the journeyings envisaged and chronicled by Moya Cannon are to be sought in a remarkable symbiosis of humanity and the 'natural world', a perceived and felt unity of creation which goes light years beyond any mere empathy of imagining. I should not be surprised if a few of Moya Cannon's phrases become, in time, part of our 'poetry-talking': 'the faulted hills', 'the room-sized fields', 'the clay part of the heart.'
Poetry Ireland Review
'Complicated things happen simply in these poems. The Burren's dove-saints hatch out under the eyes of raptors; old wooden sailboats of Connemara take root in salt water. Moya Cannon's style is as discreet as the advance of spring over her favoured landscapes. It is good to have a collection of her work to hand, for deep re-reading.'
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