1 2

Raghallach O Raghallaigh

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 208 Price: (paperback) $29.05 ISBN: 9781425158767 Reviewed: May, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

Poetry aficionados searching for something unique will find it in this wildly imaginative — and equally challenging — extended stream-of-consciousness work about an elderly woman recollecting the significant events of her life, her richly historied Irish heritage, and her place in a world much different from the one she was born into.

Warning: readers may initially find the author’s narrative style unpalatable, due to its virtually indecipherable, seemingly nonsensical sequences. But for those who have the fortitude to see this through, the undeniable rhythm — and mutability — of the words offer up an evocative and multi-layered experience filled with political and social commentary, as well as a diversity of pop culture references (Larry King, Ali G , etc.).

The author’s whimsical wordplay is evident throughout, as in: “bursting bourgeois buoys boys burst burst / but stow fusses u rheumy rummy cusses” Or: “deep dreamfree sleep bugger sheep.” That sense of whimsy is balanced by horrifying historic images, such as Adolf Hitler, and distressing personal events, including the death of the narrator’s mother. Underneath it all is an underlying existential dread (“one fears ending up old unloved alone…”), but the author faces death, like everything else, boldly and realistically: “we not ultimately think of being around forever / at some juncture u are just done finished.”

Ultimately, it is the narrator’s irrepressible spirit and offbeat sense of humor that makes the experience an intimate and endearing one: “clubbers do sometimes see oldies getting down [on the dancefloor.] / wrinklies can b hip rather than hipreplacement [.]”

1 2 is an undeniably demanding and difficult read that is bound to turn off more than a few readers. But those who can immerse themselves in the ebb and flow of the author’s “crumblewords” will be rewarded with some profound imagery as well as irreverent words to live by: “no call 2 get our jockstraps in 1 twist.”

Author's Current Residence
Great Britain
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