Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
Carcanet Press is our most courageous publisher. When you look at what they have brought out since their beginnings, it makes so many other houses seem timid or merely predictable.
Charles Tomlinson

The Instruments of Art

John F. Deane

Cover Picture of The Instruments of Art
RRP: GBP 8.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP 0.89

Price: GBP 8.05
Available Add to basket
This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857547 86 3
Categories: 21st Century, Catholic, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2005
216 x 135 x 10 mm
96 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • On the translation of power into love:
    there is no intervention once it has begun;
    and it has - begun. Fresh are the pastures, and above
    snow-drifts, crocus-fingers reach towards sun.

    from 'The Artist: I Condemned to Death'

       The Instruments of Art uses poetry to explore the lives and works of Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh and others, the personal sacrifice involved, the singular vision and inspiration that set them in motion. God's creation, some argue, is a work of art, and Christ's life and death an expression of it. Deane follows this thread in a series of sonnets based on the Stations of the Cross. Another series of poems takes John the Evangelist, 'the one whom Christ loved', as the voice of a poet expressing the hard love and personal commitment demanded by Christ; Deane conducts this exploration experimentally, contrasting and complimenting it with his personal experience of faith through suffering and love. The Old Testament story of Jacob's search for meaning is retold through the poet's own memories of family and becomes an emblem of the universal search for truth and peace. This is a collection written by the light of faith yet shadowed by doubt; it develops an instinctive approach to art that offers an understanding in terms of the highest reaches of suffering humanity.
    Table of Contents

    I The Instruments of Art



        Canvas

        Heirs to a Different Century

        Late October Evening

        Riverdown

        The Gift

        Rhododendron, Fuchsia, Thorn

        By the Banks of the Dodder

        The Visitors

        The Rowan Tree

        The Meadows of Asphodel

        Adagio Molto

        Three Rivers

        The Instruments of Art



    II The Artist



    III The Old Yellow House



        House at the Crossroads

        The Study

        Carpenter

        The Monastery

        Sheltering Places

        The Mysteries

        The Ship

        The Siege

        The Old Yellow House



    IV According to John



        You

        One for Sorrow

        Lady

        The Jacaranda Tree

        The Divine Office

        Of Misery: The Other John

        Suffer the Children

        Master of the Feast

        Angelus

        Drinking the Spring

        In the Teeth of the Wolf

        The Gravity of Flesh

        Lazarus, and the Migration of Storks

        Carnival of the Animals

        The Aftertaste of Bitterness

        Belovèd

        Report from a Far Place

        The Light of Dawn

        Prayer



    V An Exemplary Fiction



        The Red Gate

        Mushrooms

        The Big Men

        The Mother

        Husbandry

        The Poem

        Spaces of Peace

        Brothers

        Age of Foolishness

        Blessing

        Patricia's Story

        Spaces before War

        The Marriage Settlement

        On Land and Sea

        The Dromedary Caravans

        By the River

        The Chaplet



    VI Seasons in Hell



        Holy Saturday

        The Artist in his Youth

        Boot-Prints in Snow

        Terre Cuite

        Hero

        Foxgloves

        Redemption

        Daffodils

    John F. Deane was born on Achill Island in 1943. He founded Poetry Ireland – the National Poetry Society – and The Poetry Ireland Review in 1978, and is the founder of The Dedalus Press, of which he was editor from 1985 until 2006. In 2008 he was visiting scholar in ... read more
    Awards won by John F. Deane Short-listed, 2016 Irish Times Poetry Now Award  (Semibreve) Winner, 2011 Golden Key of Smederevo award

    Praise for John F. Deane 'Deane finds the embedded music of particular moments - the inscape of them - and understands their cosmic vitality... [he] draws us into deeper listening and invites us into sacred, transcendent encounter.'

    Michael P. Murphy, Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry 2019


    'John Deane invites all human beings, or pilgrims, whether Christian or not, to partake in his revelatory, redemptive collection... a true cosmic poetry for all of us, in all time.'

    Patricia McCarthy, Agenda: Ekphrastic Issue


    'Master-sonneteer, the Teilhard de Chardin of Irish poetry, Achill chronicler and gazer at the heavens, John F. Deane has created a real beauty of a collection in Dear Pilgrims.'

    Thomas McCarthy, Poetry Ireland Review  

      'These are words of a poet who lives history, who breathes at one with the world around him. Deane reminds the reader that we live only for a short while on this rock in space but that that time is precious and profound. We are all dear pilgrims - whether we realise it or not.'
    Dublin Review of Books
     'These poems are rich, evocative, replete with natural imagery, searching to know and express the unknowable.'
    Niamh Pattwell, The Furrow
    'Deane's work has always been distinguished by the wholeness of it's vision, and the poems of Dear Pilgrims are no exception: the joy and compassion of his responses to the natural world are of a piece with his spiritual preoccupations, and gesture towards his poetic forebears, in particular Hopkins and Kavanagh.'
    Caitriona O'Reilly, The Irish Times
      'Both these collections (Dear Pilgrims & The White Silhouette by James Harpur) give the lie to the idea that it is no longer possible to think and write creatively and freshly about religion in modern poetry: both Deane and Harpur look back for some of their insights, especially biographically, but their poetry remains conspicuously watching, tasting and touching today's world.'
    Stride Magazine

      'There is light and muscularity in these poems that sometimes unexpectedly recalls Ted Hughes'
    Stride Magazine
    'On a simple level, the poems in John F Deane's Semibreve (Carcanet) are elegies for the past and specifically for a lost brother. More profoundly, they teach us how bereavement, touched by a poet's tongue, can become a shared gift: "wonders of the flesh and spirit, a road-map for a shattered faith"'.
    The Guardian
      'Music, a stony, damp and deeply alive landscape (both Ireland and the Holy Land), a passionate and searching engagement with God -  specifically with the local and physical God that is the central figure of the gospels - these are poems with all of John Deane's familiar richness. A deeply welcome collection.'
    Rowan Williams
    'Deane is a true poet. I have not space here to do him justice'
    Helena Nelson, Ambit
    'Deane is an exemplary poet.'
    Gerard Smyth, Warwick Review
    'The power of Toccata and Fugue lies in its beautiful rendering of unbeautiful things. Deane takes as his subjects what might ordinarily make one turn away: road kill, snared vermin, kittens in a sack weighed with stones for drowning, a seal washed ashore to die, lambs taken for slaughter, worms hooked for fishing and snails tortured by a child. Yet there is nothing pathological about it. Compassion not cruelty motivates the speakers in his poems whose unwavering gaze attests to their engagement with these subjects.'
    Georgia Scott, Poetry Salzburg Review Autumn 2002
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog PNR 255: Editorial read more What to Do with the Body: Sumita Chakraborty read more Homunculus: James Womack read more Jon Glover: Birdsong on Mars read more Jeffrey Wainwright: As Best We Can read more Katherine Horrex: Growlery read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2020 Carcanet Press Ltd