Often the precise eye of a fellow craftsman is required to fully appreciate the intricate detail and skill that goes into creating something of beauty within that selected field. For that reason, the high praise heaped on local poet Mary Melvin Geoghegan’s new collection of poetry by her fellow poets and authors lends serious credence to the quality of the work.
The poet and writer, Nuala Ni Chonchuir refers to Mary’s “obvious delight in words” while praising her new collection, ‘Say it Like a Paragraph’ as “engaging economy and playfulness with language and original thought” to deliver up its riches. Ni Chonchuir is just one of many esteemed poets who have lavished praise on this collection.
‘Say it Like a Paragraph’ is Mary’s fourth collection of poetry and one that is inspired by journeys both personal and physical, the poet has taken since the death of her father in 2008.
“My last collection was very much borne out of coming to terms with my father’s death. This collection is basically what has happened in my life since, and all the different journeys I have taken. It’s life jumping out at you; the coincidences of existence strike me and I feel obliged to put them together,” Mary told the Leader this week.
While speaking with Mary, who is also associate editor of the Eurochild anthology of children’s artwork, it’s easy to understand her ability to find poetry in the rhythms of everyday life. Her enthusiasm for poetry is infectious.
I sorted out
my father’s clothes.
One pile for St Vincent de Paul,
the other I put in black bags
resting on his bed
waiting for the skip.
in amongst his correspondence
at the back of the filing cabinet
an old plastic wallet
my mother’s Mass cards acknowledged and dated.
Her poetry finds the immense in the mundane, delivered succinctly, with an underlying tenderness that never threatens to spill over into cliché. The process of writing such poems is sudden, she tells me.
“If something arrests me, I get a prompt, and in many cases I don’t know what the poem wants to say.”
As a result, her poems in this collection are short; they come to point quickly, and focus on imagery rather than metaphor.
“At times I’m completely astonished by an experience unravelling a synchronicity that leaves me breathless, grateful, sad, amused and wanting to capture that life in its twists and turns inside a poem.”
The launch of the book takes palce on October 17th at the Backstage Theatre at 7.30pm.