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Climbing the Light


Pearse Hutchinson

Available in Paperback only




Climbing the Light begins and ends with poems of affection and gratitude and contains poems which treat various other preoccupations — naming, persecution and racial injustice. Translations from the Irish, Italian and Galician further suggest the range of Pearse Hutchinson’s concerns.

‘Manifest Destiny’, a rancorous political satire levelled at the leaders of the Anglo-Saxon world and the slavish attitudes common in contemporary Ireland, connects with a more recent theme: the threat to rus in urbe and Nature’s heroic resistance of almighty developers of Dublin. A vital part of this new subject is the celebration of colour, natural and man-made, and of music from the owl singing in the quiet night in Galicia to an Irish friend playing the penny-whistle in Amsterdam and a great sean-nós singer in a pub in Leeds.


. . . speaks with that same human voice summarizing loneliness in an eloquent quatrain, empathizing with suffering and alerting us to the growing dislocation of social values in Dublin.

— Liam Ryan, The Irish Press

Climbing the Light . . . is vintage Hutchinson, and that in itself is worth a great deal. Here are poems of a quite exceptional power, with the whole collection unified in impulse and growth. Pearse is an ‘owl singing in the quiet night’ where the crass unfeeling city swells and threatens . . . Hutchinson is a poet of stature, compelling, urgent and memorable. The poems are richly human and generous in form and content, quiet in ambition, yet loud in the cry for freedoms and against the impending darknesses of our times.

— John F Deane, TLS

Year Published: 1985
Details: 64pp
ISBN PBK: 978 0 904011 86 9

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