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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

The Sun-fish

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Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s The Sun-fish deftly displays the poet’s gift for the allegorical, verging at times on parable, yet always with a sense of lived experience and a strong acknowledgement of the everyday. From the dedicatory epithalamium to the concluding poem, Ní Chuilleanáin’s enigmatic verse exudes deep but unpretentious wisdom, often asking simple questions that demand complex answers. In poems on nature, writing, folklore, religion, love and grief, and on many homes in different places, we are taught to “see who is there / In the whirling dance” so that we may trace the line between illusion and reality and grasp the “moment thinning the curtain, / Real, like the tricks of light.”

Winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize


Reviews

“This beguiling poet opens many doors onto multiple worlds. From the outset . . . we are in a shifting realm, both real and otherworldly. The effect of her impressionistic style is like watching a photograph as it develops. The Sun-fish contains approaches to family and political history, thwarted pilgrimages in which Ní Chuilleanáin poses many questions—not always directly—and often chooses to leave the questions themselves unresolved, allowing them to resonate meaningfully past the actual poem’s end. She is a truly imaginative poet, whose imagination is authoritative and transformative. . . . These are potent poems, with dense, captivating sound and a certain magic that proves not only to be believable but necessary, in fact, to our understanding of the world around us.”
– Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation 

“Ní Chuilleanáin’s narrative drive and ability to ground daily life in a sense of mystery or otherworldliness—to move between various realms of experience—are on full display.” 
– Women’s Review of Books

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Description

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s The Sun-fish deftly displays the poet’s gift for the allegorical, verging at times on parable, yet always with a sense of lived experience and a strong acknowledgement of the everyday. From the dedicatory epithalamium to the concluding poem, Ní Chuilleanáin’s enigmatic verse exudes deep but unpretentious wisdom, often asking simple questions that demand complex answers. In poems on nature, writing, folklore, religion, love and grief, and on many homes in different places, we are taught to “see who is there / In the whirling dance” so that we may trace the line between illusion and reality and grasp the “moment thinning the curtain, / Real, like the tricks of light.”

Winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize


Reviews

“This beguiling poet opens many doors onto multiple worlds. From the outset . . . we are in a shifting realm, both real and otherworldly. The effect of her impressionistic style is like watching a photograph as it develops. The Sun-fish contains approaches to family and political history, thwarted pilgrimages in which Ní Chuilleanáin poses many questions—not always directly—and often chooses to leave the questions themselves unresolved, allowing them to resonate meaningfully past the actual poem’s end. She is a truly imaginative poet, whose imagination is authoritative and transformative. . . . These are potent poems, with dense, captivating sound and a certain magic that proves not only to be believable but necessary, in fact, to our understanding of the world around us.”
– Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation 

“Ní Chuilleanáin’s narrative drive and ability to ground daily life in a sense of mystery or otherworldliness—to move between various realms of experience—are on full display.” 
– Women’s Review of Books

Additional information

Publication date:

2010

Binding:

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