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Irish Poetry

Derek Mahon - The Yellow Book (paperback)

"There is a quality of intellect in this recent work — its varied influences, verbal play and thematic design — that beggars the work of many other writers. The Yellow Book is Mahon's Autumn Journal, much like MacNeice in its congenial (sometimes jaundiced or wistful) meditations." The Hudson Review

"… one of the most impressive poetic sequences to emerge from Ireland in recent years …. An extraordinary performance." Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe

from Christmas in Kinsale

"The harsh will dies here among snails and peonies,
its grave an iridescence in the sea-breeze,
a bucket of water where the rainbow ends.
Elsewhere the cutting edge, the tough cities,
the nuclear wind from Windscale, derelict zones;
here the triumph of carnival, rinds and skins,
mud-wrestling organisms in post-historical phase
and the fuzzy vegetable glow of origins.
A cock crows good-morning from an oil-drum
like a peacock on a rain-barrel in Byzantium,
soap-bubbles foam in a drainpipe and life begins.
I dreamed last night of a blue Cycladic dawn,
a lone figure pointing to the horizon,
again the white islands shouting, 'Come on; come on!'…

1998  57 pages
ISBN 978-0-916390-81-5

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