Sunday 1 July 2007

The poetry of Peter Sirr

On a friend's recommendation, I looked into Peter Sirr's work when I was in Dublin, and greatly liking what I saw, I bought his Selected Poems (Gallery, 2004). I could hardly put it down. Here are some quotes (note, the placement of the lines over one another can't be shown). The poems are richly, densely lyrical, deftly interweaving the common and the metaphysical.

the wrecked sun
creeping to its hut, the night hugging and hoarding

its secret alphabets


(speaking of a newsagent's)

the whole shop a shrine to the sustenance of desolation


I see a little man dragging over a great space
a wagon filled with goods. Or it may be
gods he brings, who knows? Whatever it is
is heavy and his progress across what surface
has been imagined is slow.


What if
the language slips like water through our hands
there are
liquids more surprising


I'll stay a long time here,

erasure's emperor


I was trying to be exact, I was trying to lean
a little farther in.


I stare for hours at water
an infinitely concentrated carelessness
begins there
in which I may be learning
to lend myself to myself
to lodge and withdraw like the sea
or be the beach ignorant of its own account

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