Vona Groarke’s fifth collection, Spindrift, slips between the ‘away’ of America or England, and the West of Ireland or the remembered ‘inland fields’ of home. The poems offer gorgeous bits and pieces of the observed world: the sound a scissors makes; a drop of rain on a blouse; the flare-up of a mobile phone . . . Each pinpoints more expansive concerns where the intensely noticed detail blooms in significance.
‘Many of the poems in this collection are love poems, both oblique and direct, dealing with that trickiest of subjects, sexual relations. One of the most striking of her successes is Intimacy , marked by one of the qualities I most admire in her work: the refined subtlety with which she can load an image – sharply and concretely seen – with metaphorical implication . . . The poems in Spindrift serve as a reminder that in the strongest poetry there’s always the sound of someone confronting with courage and craft the outer and inner worlds of hazardous matter. What these poems possess are seriousness of purpose, clarity of intelligence, exactitudes of feeling and, most of all, a quiet mastery of language in its instrumental work as sound and cadence, as image, as metaphor, as just plain statement.’ — Eamon Grennan, The Irish Times
True to the Times Literary Supplement‘s note of her ‘precise observation and deftly interwoven threads of thought’, this book culminates in a title sequence that glimpses a Connemara landscape, attending to its wildflowers and rituals, its weather and tides, concluding that ‘it is all a kind / of love song, really’.
Love songs and poems of desire, poems of adherence and of doubt, Spindrift affirms the achievement of a poet identified by Poetry Ireland Review as ‘Among the best Irish poets writing today’.