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Torchlight explores the haunting persistence of memories, and the acts of remembrance which preserve and shape them.
In his fifth collection, the Northern Irish poet Peter McDonald ranges across a wide poetic landscape, from Belfast in the troubled 1970s to contemporary England, from personal recollection to a fragment of Sappho's memory of her youth, eloquent across millennia; from ancient myth to rock music.
At the centre of Torchlight is a major new translation of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, a Greek text which, in McDonald's hands, resonates with the concerns and discoveries of the book's shorter poems, and brings the mystery cult of Eleusis into an unnerving conjunction with the losses, recoveries and revelations elsewhere in the collection.
McDonald's powerful lyric poetry is both complex and memorable, light and vigorous.
His is an original and distinctive voice in Irish poetry,
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