The New Estate and Other Poems keeps in print Ciaran Carson’s earliest work. It embraces traditional subjects and treatments, translations from Early Irish and Welsh, and a number of more contemporary themes (‘The Bomb Disposal’, ‘Dunne’).
The New Estate and Other Poems rehearses the use of idiom and phrasing elaborated and perfected in The Irish for No. In some of its narrative energy and procedures it is a harbinger of that groundbreaking collection. In some of its restraint it anticipates the exquisitely pared delicacies of his collection, Breaking News, winner of the Forward Prize, 2003.
‘Carson . . . is a poet of witness to the Northern Irish conflict. He’s also compulsively playful, a colloquial, ultra-literary story-teller, who changes his formal game with almost every book. . . . Carson is so deliberate, so fastidiously lackadaisical, such a good yarn-spinner, and so fully there whenever he pauses, that he never loses you. Seeing where he’ll go next is enormous fun. . . . At his best, he’s better than almost anyone.’ — Daisy Fried, Poetry