Collected Poems: Michael Murphy

Collected Poems: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy.

Price: £10.50

ISBN: 978 1 907356 11 7

“Michael Murphy’s poetry is an heroic body of work – elegant, unwavering in its commitment to love, poetry and the sheer power of attention. There’s more about beauty here than can be contained in one life.”  Gwyneth Lewis

“Michael Murphy’s strong, beautiful poems, together with the moving preface, represent some of the most inspiriting encounters I have had with poetry for many years. This, somehow, is why poetry matters; this is what, as an emotional connective between us, it should do and be.”  Anne Stevenson

“Michael Murphy’s poems distil light – “shafts of afternoon light”, starlight, lamplight, matchlight, “the freakish slats of winter sun”, “the heartsick moon”. Windows and mirrors are recurring images – reflections, refractions – “stripping light / layer by layer.” The earlier poems are earthy, full of estuaries, shorelines, wildflowers, birdsong’s “scattered notes”, “voices behind the wind”. But the powerful late poems are the soul of this collection. Compact, shapely, confidently finding their own speech-melody, they face up to death, “the loamy darkness”, and remind us that poetry’s first duty is to preserve. In her preface Deryn Rees-Jones also honours this duty. Her astonishing testimony and Michael Murphy’s poems – “vast light confined under narrow skies” – make this a momentous publication.”  Michael Longley

“Rather like the turf he used to smuggle from Mayo, Michael Murphy as a poet and a friend had a comforting aura, an earth-loving store of energy and humour, together with a combustible essence which in his work – especially in his last crowning poems – burns with a brilliance that is almost as unbearable as it is exhilarating.”  Maurice Riordan