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Long Distance

John FitzGerald
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The Gallery Press (Gallery Books)
Published: April 18, 2024
ISBN: 9781911338802
84 pages
Country of publication: Ireland


It is no surprise that Long Distance, by the author of the widely praised The Time Being (2021), reveals the deepening impression of a poet who is both chronicler of all that fades and passes and observer of ‘our giant reapers’ that harvest wind for ‘our new elixir’. In forms that range from sequences of sonnets to haiku he acknowledges and brings to life vividly worlds familiar and strange — what he calls ‘the remote and the ordinary’ — as he hovers somewhere between them. A schoolboy absorbs the effects of Seán Ó Riada’s cortège. There’s a translation of an early photograph and the ‘surround sound’ of a corncrake while settings reach from his home place in West Cork to Queensland, Australia, and a mountain in China’s Hunan province. ‘I have work to do / to keep it all as it is,’ he writes in resonant and remarkable poems cognizant that ‘a long note / from an angel’s throat once sung / can never be silenced’.

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