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Gorse Fires Michael Longley

Gorse Fires

Michael Longley

Published
ISBN : 9780224090032
Paperback
64 pages
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 About the Book 

Emerging, as it did, after over a decade of silence, Gorse Fires had an immediate and resounding impact - revealing a poetry that seemed renewed and re-energised - and winning the Whitbread Prize for Poetry in 1991. It is now regarded as the pivotalMoreEmerging, as it did, after over a decade of silence, Gorse Fires had an immediate and resounding impact - revealing a poetry that seemed renewed and re-energised - and winning the Whitbread Prize for Poetry in 1991. It is now regarded as the pivotal book in Michael Longleys distinguished career.If Ireland remains Longleys starting-point or implied focus, it is often sighted through disturbing perspectives that derive from foreign cultures, from Homers Odyssey, from the Second World War, and from the Holocaust. Even his beautifully precise poems about the West of Ireland are shadowed by the many destructive forces ranged against the creative act.Longleys versions of Odysseus return to Ithaca and Ghetto (based on the Polish ghettoes) epitomise his concern with the meaning of home and family. He sees these archetypes of Western civilisation as vulnerable, problematic, violated by power. Odysseus homecoming involves murder and vengeance as well as reunions - a connection with the ambiguities of life in Northern Ireland.Gorse Fires is an unusual artistic blend: darkly austere, yet abundant in images, catalogues and syntactical virtuosity. The formal links between poems gives the whole collection the air of a richly varied sequence- it is a work of the highest order.Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Poetry.