Gerard Smyth’s tenth collection, The Sundays of Eternity, will be published by Dedalus Press in February, 2020. The themes of this collection include family and marriage, responses and re-evaluations prompted by recent historical anniversaries – the First World War, the 1916 rebellion, the Limerick Soviet of 1919 – as well as a suite of elegies dealing with the loss of artist and writer friends, and poems of homage to other writers and artists, including the late Leonard Cohen.

Smyth’s concern with place continues with poems that engage with Dublin, a city that has always had a pervasive presence in his work and which in this book is represented by Clerys Clock, Joyce’s House of the Dead, the bells of Christ Church and St Patrick’s cathedrals, Chesterfield Avenue in the Phoenix Park and the more intimate domestic settings of the poet’s childhood homes in the city’s Liberties area. Other places too appear in the poems of The Sundays of Eternity : Meath, Portugal, Syria, Israel and the moonscape that was beamed into homes on the night of July 20th, 1969.

In Smyth’s poetry, history and inheritance, both familial and cultural, are key themes. His is a contemporary voice that celebrates Irish experience in the second half of the twentieth-century and beyond. Many readers will recognize their own life in his poetry, and there is much to treasure in his elegiac body of work which manages to be both uniquely personal while also attuned to the universal concerns of the human condition.

Adrienne Levy. Reading Ireland, the little magazine

The Sundays of Eternity will be launched with other new Dedalus publications in Poetry Ireland at 6.30pm on February 4th, Double Vision by Paddy Bushe, Indigo Baby by Enda Coyle-Greene and The Humours of Nothingness by Gerry Murphy.

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