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ISBN: 978 1 847771 35 3
Categories: 21st Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2012
216 x 135 x 10 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
It was making day when I looked out
at the kind of beauty
that leaves death unthinkable,
purple slate, gannets rising in small explosions
and everything makes sense.
The world is round again and we are its sun
describing a horizon, ratskin waves stretch to America
lumps of sea rise under the bow and below
acres of drowned Ireland and a mountain.
from ‘Resident at Sea’
In 2007 Mary O’Malley made a voyage on the Irish marine research ship the Celtic Explorer. It took her far out into the Atlantic, and it returned her to a self and a country made strange. Valparaiso, a collection begun at sea, is a book of searches and discoveries, plumbing oceanic depths and returning to a shore that ‘marks the start of possibility’. The surge and swell of the sea sounds in it, a place of wonders where the imagination is freed. ‘What would sing in me is the deep ocean.’
As the scientists chart a course dictated by the demands of research, as Ireland is careering from boom to bust, Mary O’Malley explores the science of going under and staying afloat. She returns to an altered place, and is herself changed by an odyssey that has taken her around the Atlantic and Europe, into her past and back to a kind of homecoming.
Poem on a Leaf
At Jardin des Plantes
Dido, Grainne, Brid
In the Seminary
The Lost Boys
Two Heads in a Landscape
Instress in Ireland
The White City
The Lisbon Bride
Last Night in Paris
Whom the Gods Love
One Year On
II Resident at Sea
I Sea Road, No Map
II Oceano Nox
Veteris Vestigia Flammae
More Space than Stars
Play It Again, Sam
Before Winter Comes
Watching the StutteringLovers
An Easement for the Chest
Instead of a Proposal
The Myth of Language
The Shark’s Dream
The Black Glacier
To All Who Are Hopeless withBirds
The Birth of Venus
Climbing the Volcano
The Gulls at Fastnet
Never Merely One Albertine
Awards won by Mary O'Malley Joint winner, 2018 Michael Hartnett Poetry Award
(Playing the Octopus)
'Mary O'Malley's seascapes [...] are suffused with such beauty and sonorous mystery and rhythmic care that they lift us above ourselves and the time we inhabit.'
Colm Tóibín, Irish Times, 8th December 2012
Praise for Mary O'Malley 'very fine and hugely varied collection of poetry'
Colette Sheridan, Irish Examiner
'O'Malley is a true artist in sketching the beautiful, small details without which the essence of place, and the identity dependent on it, can be all too easily erased.'
'This new collection by one of Ireland's most respected and radical poets is as exhilarating a read as the title promises. Sampling through levels of irony from the neolithic to the neon lights of the lonely cities, from east to west, and indeed the hackneyed wesht (with a characteristically wicked eye), O'Malley offers us lyrics of the salvific quotidian woven together with the surreal elements of surviving our island paradoxes. Insouciant as the pirate queen Grace O'Malley who downfaced Elizabeth the First, Mary O'Malley steps into a zone of power and mastery with these new poems.'
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