Wake: Up to Poetry
Praise for Michael Longley
Recently, The Boston Globe named Michael Longley’s A Hundred Doors as one of the best poetry books of 2011.
“This year Wake Forest University Press has delivered ‘A Hundred Doors’ by Irish poet Michael Longley, who has yet to receive the American acclaim surrounding many of his contemporaries. In this collection, readers are transported to various locales, but mostly to idyllic Carrigskeewaun, County Mayo, in poems littered with British and Irish speech, bolstered by the metaphoric strengths of his earlier work. Longley, septuagenarian, is ‘the farrier in this townland’ (‘Horseshoe’), forging lines sharp but soft-spoken. While maintaining their edgy, historical scope, these poems communicate an intimacy with friends, colleagues, and family that never turns in ward or rings false. One need look no farther than ‘The Holly Bush in memory of Dorothy Molloy’ to see how poem reflects person, which in turn reflects the world: ‘The poets you loved are your consorts now./ Golden plovers-a hundred or more-turn/ And give back dawn-light from their undersides./ The edge of the dunes wears a fiery fringe.”