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Francis Harvey: Collected Poems

Francis Harvey: Collected Poems

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The publication of Collected Poems is a major event in the Irish poetry calendar, bringing together work from all of his earlier collections with a large selection of new poems which show him to be as attentive as ever both to philosophical subtleties and to the wonders of the natural world. In the context of Irish poetry, Harvey is, according to Moya Cannon in her Introduction, "a Basho-like figure, guided by an unwavering sense of true north, always moving to the washed light on higher ground."

"Representing a life given over to the work of making poems, this collected volume is a handsome testament to the fidelity with which Harvey has pursued, wrestled with, and mastered, his craft."
The Irish Times

"Perhaps no other Irish writer has claimed a space as well as this poet. Not even Kavanagh. He knows its skies, its islands, its headlands, its beaches, its fence posts, its rocks, its trees. He knows its small towns and its people. Each poem stands alone, but all build into a masterful composition. No one is spared from this work of art. Even the poet himself, is snared in the dripping amber of this poetry... Do not go to Donegal without this voice. It is half shepherd, half sheep. And quite Beautiful."

Francis Harvey was born in Enniskillen in 1925 and has published four collections of poems, as well as Making Space: New & Selected Poems (Dedalus, 2001). His Collected Poems appeared from Dedalus in April 2007. Among the many prizes his work has won are The Irish Times/Yeats Summer School Prize, The Guardian/WWF Prize, and a Peterloo Prize.

"Beautifully grounded in the actual, his language bristles with facts (often spiced with astringent opinions), generating a direct speech mostly pared to the bone of meaning, formally astute but rarely seeking high-flown 'poetical' effects. 'The mystery of love is flesh and bone,' he says, and this enlightened, sceptical materialism informs not only his poems, but the way he thinks about and practises his art, at his best stripping expression down to abiding habits of rhythmically clean epigrammatic speech (often braced into the form of the sonnet)."
Eamon Grennan, The Irish Times

"There is throughout a concern for craft and conciseness. The poems are, on the whole, lucid and warm-hearted. There is an admirable variety of technique and theme. Above all there is the sense that the poet is content to explore his own world in all its limitation and potential. It is this note of quiet, unruffled integrity that makes the poetry of Francis Harvey such a pleasant reading experience"
Brendan Kennelly