New Book: Imbolg
It was a special pleasure to handle Imbolg when it arrived from the printers. It's quite substantial for a poetry book, as it is in effect two 'collections,' but Alan Hayes of Arlen House had it printed on a very soft quality of paper with a lovely matte cover. More than any other of my books, I just enjoy holding it.
Imbolg was the Celtic festival of Spring. Literally, it is ‘in the belly,’ referring to gestation. The eponymous poem begins Part I with a defiant re-birth from a womb of mirrors, leading to poems of change, with its shadows and highs. The first three parts of the book were written between 2009 and 2016. Parts 2 and 3 comprise three quirky narratives and three long exploratory poems, including the prize-winning ‘Easter 2016.’ Part 4 is a ‘Lockdown Diary,’ written between March 12 and April 30, 2020.
Time plays a huge part in its many forms – expanding, contracting, disappearing. There is constant movement, especially in ‘the second of April’ and ‘Lockdown Diary’ – where the speaker often moves like a revenant past silent houses and closed commercial buildings. Sensual pleasure is also very much in the frame, and a pervasive element of irony and play. As a whole, Imbolg is a kind of performance, with unusual perspectives on shared experience.
what makes the eyes that pursue in empty rooms.
but they’re not eyes. and there are no introverts.
neither are rooms empty. purposes live in.
we know how to abide in the giant pulse.
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