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Reality Check

Dennis O'Driscoll

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Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2007)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
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  • Awards
  • Reviews

    The Clock

    With only one story to tell, the clock strikes
    a monotonous note, irrespective of how
    musical the bell, how gilded the chimes
    its timely conclusions report through.
    Time literally on hands, it informs you
    to your face exactly where you stand
    in relation to your aspirations, stacks up
    the odds against your long-term prospects,
    leaves your hopes and expectations checked.
    Keeping track of time to the last second, it gives
    the lie to all small talk about your reputedly
    youthful looks, sees through the subterfuge
    of dyed hair, exposes the stark truth beneath
    the massaged evidence of smooth skin.

    Dennis O’Driscoll lends his transformative vision to everyday ‘bread and butter’ routines and the insidious forces that imperil them. From the entertaining mixture of shorter poems which opens his eighth collection, he branches out with Skywriting, a visually dramatic and rhythmically vibrant sequence which paints a map of light in its varied moods and modulations. Part lamentation, part celebration, the sequence glints with interludes of sunlit repose, while also flashing a scrutinising light on darker aspects of our century and environment.

    Dennis O’Driscoll (1954–2012) was born in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Apart from nine collections of poetry, books published during his lifetime included a selection of essays and reviews, Troubled Thoughts, Majestic Dreams (2001), two collections of literary quotations and Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney (2008). Among his awards were a Lannan ... read more
    Awards won by Dennis O'Driscoll Short-listed, 2001 Irish Times Literary Prize,Irish Poetry (Weather Permitting) Winner, 2013 Irish Times Literary Prize,Irish Poetry (Dear Life) Winner, 2013 Irish Times Literary Prize,Irish Poetry (Dear Life)
    Praise for Dennis O'Driscoll 'Carcanet has done a great job in collating work from his various collections with some revised and new poems... O'Driscoll's work should be read and re-read, as a sort of 'life' of a poet and scholar who worked outside academe and literary theory, deep in the bowels of the everyday, where flesh-and-blood experiences strive to make their own poetry.'
    John Wakeman, Books Ireland
      ''To rinse the world in rose water before you write is to bear false witness''. This is the challenge that O'Driscoll took on board - to face the workaday world we might have thought we'd risen above. He, and his discerning overview, are much missed. His Collected Poems are welcomed.'
    Dundee University Review of the Arts
       'His voice is one of the most distinctive of his generation.'
    John McAuliffe, The Irish Times
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