A central group of poems in Scarecrow, Seán Lysaght’s second collection, adjusts the perspective of his earlier field notes and nature sketches and explores questions of individual integrity through the motif of the scarecrow. Other poems recharge familiar landscapes with images from natural history and science. There is an emphasis throughout on freeing feelings and objects from the cumber of the past, while keeping faith with those locations where ‘things are sung’.
‘It is an act of love these . . . poems perform, conscious all the while of their own vulnerability.’
— Gerald Dawe, The Irish Times
‘The second-last poem in Sean Lysaght’s Scarecrow, ‘Map-maker’, takes in three of his primary obsessions ? science, landscape and language ? and shows how each can liberate the other . . . The map-maker is a custodian of one of those zones where landscape, personal experience and words may converge harmoniously and become released “from the cumber of the past”. Lysaght is highly adept at charting this territory . . .This collection continues, and deepens, that exploration. It is a more experimental book, taking imaginative risks, its scope enlarged by classi cal and literary allusions. ‘Scarecrow’ is an appropriate title, being both a figure in the landscape and a part of it, bogeyman and breath of fresh air, familiar roost for metaphor, repository of keepsakes, bits and pieces, abandoned objects which are granted a new life as “found objects”, polished by language to an heraldic shine.‘ — Mark Granier, Poetry Ireland Review