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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

The Price of Stone and Earlier Poems

$40.00

The Price of Stone and Earlier Poems collects the major work of one of Ireland’s most admired and accomplished poets. Richard Murphy’s first book, Sailing to an Island, received considerable acclaim when it was published in 1963. Since that auspicious beginning, Murphy has received increasing praise for such qualities as his “sureness of direction in the art and a poised and appeased self-knowledge” (Seamus Heaney) and his “liberation of language and feeling, the Hardyesque purity of diction” (Maurice Harmon).

In addition to poems from Sailing to an Island and The Battle of Aughrim (1968), this collection includes all of the poems published in High Island (1974) and Murphy’s newer sequences, Care (nineteen lyrics) and The Price of Stone (fifty sonnets). The new poems continue themes present in earlier work, including powerful representations of the stark landscape, rugged inhabitants, and stone structures of the west coast of Ireland. They explore as well the price of stonewalling, that is, of reticence, of concealing the self. Obliquely confessional poetry in which architectural structures and places address the poet and the reader, the sonnet sequence sings of love for wife, son and daughter, lovers, the travelers of Ireland and other outcasts, but especially love of place. Sometimes, archaic language consorts with the Renaissance function of the sonnet to commemorate the lover: “Here, too, buried in rhyme, lovers lie dead, / Engraved in words that live each time they’re read” (“Friary”). At other times the sonnets sing the language of a new generation.

Note: First edition. This book is officially out of print.


Reviews

“A masterly production by any standard, The Price of Stone is a major event in Anglo-Irish poetry, one whose significance extends well beyond this island. . . . A connoisseur in selecting verbal materials, a craftsman in assembling, Murphy proves himself to be an accomplished poetic architect as well.”
– Joseph Sendry, Irish University Review

“I welcome The Price of Stone as Richard Murphy’s best collection so far.  From book to book, in fact, Murphy has made his language more supple, more inclusive, drawing deeper and more complex areas of his identity into the light . . . Witty, inventive, fit—the language of The Price of Stone is full of such remarkable animations.”
– Eamon Grennan, Finding Irish Poetry in the Twentieth Century

“We can live with his poems, admiring each stony word that has weathered the test of time and human use.”
– Thomas D’Evelyn, The Christian Science Monitor

SKU: 978-0-916390-24-2 Categories: , ,

Description

The Price of Stone and Earlier Poems collects the major work of one of Ireland’s most admired and accomplished poets. Richard Murphy’s first book, Sailing to an Island, received considerable acclaim when it was published in 1963. Since that auspicious beginning, Murphy has received increasing praise for such qualities as his “sureness of direction in the art and a poised and appeased self-knowledge” (Seamus Heaney) and his “liberation of language and feeling, the Hardyesque purity of diction” (Maurice Harmon).

In addition to poems from Sailing to an Island and The Battle of Aughrim (1968), this collection includes all of the poems published in High Island (1974) and Murphy’s newer sequences, Care (nineteen lyrics) and The Price of Stone (fifty sonnets). The new poems continue themes present in earlier work, including powerful representations of the stark landscape, rugged inhabitants, and stone structures of the west coast of Ireland. They explore as well the price of stonewalling, that is, of reticence, of concealing the self. Obliquely confessional poetry in which architectural structures and places address the poet and the reader, the sonnet sequence sings of love for wife, son and daughter, lovers, the travelers of Ireland and other outcasts, but especially love of place. Sometimes, archaic language consorts with the Renaissance function of the sonnet to commemorate the lover: “Here, too, buried in rhyme, lovers lie dead, / Engraved in words that live each time they’re read” (“Friary”). At other times the sonnets sing the language of a new generation.

Note: First edition. This book is officially out of print.


Reviews

“A masterly production by any standard, The Price of Stone is a major event in Anglo-Irish poetry, one whose significance extends well beyond this island. . . . A connoisseur in selecting verbal materials, a craftsman in assembling, Murphy proves himself to be an accomplished poetic architect as well.”
– Joseph Sendry, Irish University Review

“I welcome The Price of Stone as Richard Murphy’s best collection so far.  From book to book, in fact, Murphy has made his language more supple, more inclusive, drawing deeper and more complex areas of his identity into the light . . . Witty, inventive, fit—the language of The Price of Stone is full of such remarkable animations.”
– Eamon Grennan, Finding Irish Poetry in the Twentieth Century

“We can live with his poems, admiring each stony word that has weathered the test of time and human use.”
– Thomas D’Evelyn, The Christian Science Monitor

Additional information

Publication date:

1985

Pages:

190

Binding: