Reading “The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass”

Immediately on opening The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass by Harry Clifton you can see the impact of Ireland – it is divided into two sections: Twenty Six Counties and Six Counties. The geographical ties are not just current but also looking back to past heritage.

The almost name-dropping use of locations in the collection makes it possible to use the ideas and feelings in the poems to connect an unknown place to a familiar one.  A few of the pieces seems a little too drawn out or convoluted both on a first and with a re-read. There is a wandering of styles that suits the poems and the collection as a whole. I especially liked False Meridian and Crossing Sweden.

In the tall windows, higher than human height,
Incarnate joy, against the logic of seasons,
Goes on ripening. Slowly a solstice approaches.

– Citrus

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6 thoughts on “Reading “The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass”

          1. It can be. It’s a difficult thing to do, when writing longer pieces and prose you have more of a frame but when the words themselves are the frame it can take a long time to get them just right so it all holds together.
            V.

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