Last night I went to Shakespeare and Company and heard four Irish poets read. There's something so seductive about the Irish lilt and the unexpected vernacular, particularly after all the american I've heard. The poets were: Aifric Mac Aoaha, Ailbhe Darcy, Leeanne Quinn and Maurice Riordan. Of the four, the two whose works spoke most to me were Ailbhe Darcy and Maurice Riordin.
Both of these poets have a laconic but charged and crafted presentation of their world, ideas and experience. In my opinion, Riordan works more within a firm Irish tradition. I don't mean by this that its parochial, just that the tropes and vocabulary are familiar. (Maybe I mean an Irish male tradition?) Anyway, it's lovely stuff - have a look at 'Stars and Jasmine' - the casual authority of the first line held me and then when I came to that final stanza, I laughed out loud at the last domestic lines.
Naturally Darcy's first collection, Imaginary Menagerie, is not as sure-footed as Riordan's new collection, The Water Stealer. But there's a sense of discovery and play in this collection, as well as self-investigation and I loved the robust vernacular that enters some of her poems juxtaposed against an exuberant and unexpected use of language. Check out one of Darcy's poems here and see what you think of both the poem and Carol Rumens's small essay, cracking the poem open.
Have a look, too, at the Tuesday Poem hub and read Saradha Koriala's poem, 'Tika' published here guest editor/curator Harvey Molloy. I lingered over the final stanzas of this poem, it resonated uncannily with some of my recent travelling experiences.