Painting the Pink Roses Black (1986)

“Gerard Smyth’s language is clear and unforced, growing naturally, for the most part, out of the poems. These are built from statements which accumulate sharply focused images resonant with significance in the arena of life and death. This collection is restrained and compassionate … moving and finely drawn.”
Orbis Magazine of Poetry and Prose (England)

“Smyth’s voice is quiet, precise, insistent and subtle … at his best he can set images ringing with life and make them resonant with significance.”
Books Ireland

“Gerard Smyth has a painstaking eye for isolating the telling detail, coupled with a technical ability to maximise its effect. In his hands the impact of simplicity is extraordinary … what distinguishes Smyth’s writing is that almost every line is powerful, an occasion of insight and balance rather than a means to an end.”
Philip Casey

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