The Ballyconnell Colours

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Dermot Healy

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The poems in Dermot Healy’s first collection, The Ballyconnell Colours, move in a variety of registers, from the background and imaginative landscape of County Cavan to the West of Ireland coast. From ‘domestic lives’ to ‘neighbours’ lights’ this large, generous book is marked by an acceptance of the daily world and by compassion. It is lit by moments of transcendence.

The moon above Sligo
Is not
The moon above Mayo.
— 'Two Moons'

Healy is cold and passionate, a protagonist and observer, strengthened by the experiences that break him — someone who becomes an owner when dispossessed. His most recent poems are gnomic, and convert moents of desolate privacy into universals. There is a martial art in which the defender takes his enemy’s aggression and completes the circle of which it is part. Healy uses his poetry to do this with the anguish of life.

— Hugh Bredin, Fortnight


The poems of The Ballyconnell Colours project an open, rugged humanity, celebratory of common life. Although Healy has no doubt drawn strength from the example of Patrick Kavanagh, he has successfully managed to give his poems his own individual stamp.

— The Irish Times

Year Published: 1992
Details: 80pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 102 1

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