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The Sea with no Ships


Frank McGuinness

Available in Paperback only

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In The Irish Times Michael Smith considered Frank McGuinness’s first collection, Booterstown, a ‘delightful surprise’ and welcomed ‘its robust vigour and candour’. In Cyphers Philip Casey saluted the ‘fierce passion’ of its poems. The Sea with No Ships is equally considerate of the events and feelings which frequently determine a life. It contains elegies and poems for beloved friends.

As it moves from evocations of ‘Rosa O’Doherty’ (d.1660 Louvain) to ‘Van Gogh in Donegal’ and from locations such as Heathrow Airport and Belgium to the Pacific coast, it celebrates memory, love and the human spirit. In the poem ‘Soul Music’ Frank McGuinness writes, ‘There is no beauty in the soul’s deception’, a truth this collection asserts with eloquence, energy and courage.

‘There is a marvellous resounding echo of the precise eroticism of Gaelic poetry here, simplicity out of which true poetry is born. McGuinness posseses a wonderful lyric ear and acute talent for speech but it is in the quieter melody of such small poems that his real magic resides. He can make us see with new eyes the oft-recited, oft-dramatised rehearsals of love.’ — Fred Johnston, Books Ireland

Year Published: 1999
Details: 76pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 251 6

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