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Talking Down the Clocks

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Talking down the clock is Seamus Cashman’s fifth volume of poetry. It follows his 2015 ekphrastic book length poem, The Sistine Gaze

In his early collections (Carnival, 1987; Clowns & Acrobats, 2000) with a focus on village life and personal mythologies, the poet found ‘fire crackling faggots / at my feet / I inhaled its fragrance/ and forgave myself’. / I still could see.’. Here in this fifth collection, the poet is seeing within, is threading the ordinary through the abstract, linking the human via button-holes of experience and philosophy, summiting the uncertain and clearly enjoying possibilities encountered enroute. He will experiment, indeed relishes it, as in ‘To the naked woman in the far window’, ‘Be still’, ‘Owl’, ‘Composition’, ‘Fractalities’, ‘Catastrophe turnings’ and others.

The closing poem, which is the collection’s energetic title poem, offers a spiral of excitements and images leading readers through and around the impositions, surprises and confusions of time — echoing our failures to seize and size it, and facing the impossibility of ignoring it. We might learn from its over five hundred lines to ‘Just be’, as we watch time abseiling its own rhythms.