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Poetry & Drama

Poetry & Drama by Ireland’s finest authors.

Taking My Letters Back

Taking My Letters Back


By Dermot Bolger

'Fierce, fierce work, dark, passionate and cathartic. Unique, strangely elegiac and loving. And the new poems are just astounding.' - Sebastian Barry

A-Format  Paperback | 133pp | ISBN: 978-1-87459-798-8 | Release Date: Oktober 1998

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Although one of Ireland's best-know novelists and playwrights, Dermot Bolger has always been first and foremost a poet. Thing long overdue New and Selected Poems combines the best of Bolger's early work along with new poems written over the past decade and never before collected in book form.


Fierce, fierce work, dark, passionate and cathartic. Unique, strangely elegiac and loving. And the new poems are just astounding.
— Sebastian Barry
‘This is pure poetry. The saddest, truthfullest poetry you can imagine. Poetry at its lyric limits. I think of Bolger as Dublin’s Pasolini or, conversely, of Pasolini as Rome’s Bolger. Bolger’s poems are Dublin Elegies to lay alongside the Roman Elegies of Pasolini. Like Ledwidge, Bolger is a direct, lineal descendant of John Keats; he writes out of ‘the holiness of the heart’s affections.
— Paul Durcan
With the publication of Taking My Letters Back we see the span of Dermot Bolger’s lyric sensibility over twenty years - from young and tender nature songs that reach to encompass the drama of the new estates and to find room for the wounded and broken, right up to songs of experience where a maturity of vision matches a maturity of style. We read too a keen social critic with the necessary and ferocious angers to fuel a life utterly devoted to contemporary literature. A canny and uncanny selection: how crucial to the novels and the plays the poet in him has been comes clear here; how faithful he’s stayed to his people comes clear; how much honour he’s paid to their struggles comes clear; how much love has animated his work comes crystal clear. A shining and welcome book.
— Paula Meehan