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The Company of Horses


Peter Fallon

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The Company of Horses is Peter Fallon’s first collection of original poems since News of the World: Selected and New Poems appeared in 1998.

The Irish Times in its review of The Georgics of Virgil (2004) declared ‘this book, taken in parts or as a whole, says “Glory to the World”. And the glory is renewed for our time in Peter Fallon’s inspired translation.

‘These closely observed and patiently assembled poems continue that celebration and amplify that verdict. In a book of uncommon empathy, the author considers the blessings of the whole green force of nature. There are hymns to family and friends, to the majesty of trees and other living creatures. Inevitable elegiac notes are woven into riffs of a collection that highlights beginnings and beginnings again. These life-affirming lyrics remain attentive to particular, cherished places – the author’s Irish midlands home and a western retreat – all the while asserting common ground in the heart’s affections and excitements.

‘The Company of Horses is dedicated to the American poet and neo-agrarian writer Wendell Berry, whose friendship with Fallon suggests their common interest in the interrelationships among the land, humans, plants, and animals. This new volume is classic Fallon: not only in its wonder-filled portrayal of the flora and fauna surrounding Fallon’s home in Oldcastle, County Meath, but also in his evocative sketches of nature farther a field, near Ballynahinch in Connemara . . . If, as the poet claims in the title poem of this lovely volume, “the company of broken // horses is a quiet blessing,” so is this collection.’ — Richard Rankin Russell, New Hibernia Review

You don’t need to read more than two lines to hear Peter Fallon’s signature, a braid of eloquent silence and perfect pitch. To borrow a title from one of his poems, it’s country music – sly rhymes, alliteration and assonance just beyond expectation but inevitable and natural. Inseparable from beauty is the humane weight of Peter’s words. His poetry includes a moral inquiry into the nature of the world.


Joyce Peseroff, U Mass, Boston

Fallon’s richly understated work is a joy to read, studded throughout with brightly living images, as in ‘The Company of Horses’ where the eponymous creatures are ‘flesh on the bones/of the wind, going full gallop,/the loan of freedom.’

Fallon turns his rare gift of observation on the meanest of objects and elevates them into something else, be it ‘A single leaf/of sunlit ivy’ or ‘a crippled tree/whose apples grew/on a branch/in Eden.‘ This gift finds full and free expression throughout this latest remarkable collection, which readers will cherish.

Poetry Book Society Bulletin

Year Published: 2007
Details: 68pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 423 7
ISBN ebook: 978 1 85235 582 1

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