by Vona Groarke
"Ambitious, tender and lyrically beautiful..."--The Irish Times
In Juniper Street, the meanings of home, love and family are central themes. As always in Groarke's understated work, the undercurrent, the ghost, the smithereen (to borrow words from her titles), the piece of reality hovering elusively on the margins of consciousness is important. Throughout the volume, we hear a poet in charge of her subject and voice, investing no more weight in an experience than it will allow, but insisting that even a murmur can be a shout if one's ear is properly cocked.
Groarke gives personal resonance to social conditions, and so the idea of 'America' or 'Ireland' is carried subtly along like biographical facts. The volume's title is a good indication of this; Juniper Street is where private and public meet, where individual lives are mapped by the community and where society is reflected upon in particular terms.
Anywhere. So long as there's a flicker of sea,
a far-fetched train, a lighthouse nodding off
between tea-time and that moment when
your father brightly takes you by the hand
to a place that is the opposite of home.
'Not over the rocks in darkness, Paddy.
You don't mean to tell me that.'
$35 Limited clothbound edition, numbered and signed; plain vellum wrapper (no image)
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