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The Unmaking By Tim O'Leary
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True poetry has the intellectual and formal rigour to tell us stories of the way we live. In Tim O’Leary’s Manganese Tears, there are wonderful elegies for the village community og the... More > poet’s childhood, and most powerfully the slow dying of his mother whose ‘life has moved downstairs / with the vase of shrivelling daffodils’ and the limited horizons where ‘Each kiss is a kiss goodbye’. The grieving is genuine, but what makes it especially moving is the intellectual honesty, for the poet his mother’s ‘thankyous’ meaning ‘as much as / amens muttered during mass— / religiously bare’. Even for friends in the village, refusing o admit they were ever ill ‘the steel is in their gazes, / and the gaze at the abyss’. Love is what holds personal and communal life together, as the chemical element Manganese holds together the health of both body and brain. But with tears. William Bedford< Less

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