Starry Dandelion Night
Introduction by Gregor Milne
September 2007. 60 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-25-1
"Few poets are able to make the physical moment so central both to the action of a poem and its symbolism. Often the physical nature of place suffers as a result of a poet's attention to symbol. James McConalogue avoids these pitfalls. His poems are alternately extremely modern and intentionally archaic - he invests them all with a formal precision and wit (in the old sense) that never tires you."
Gregor Milne, "Introduction"
Excerpts from Starry Dandelion Night
Rhodian Moon Night
Born anew and fresh
within this Rhodian night
before the ruby blue waters
turn coal-black to vanish light
and the Grecian treacle sun hangs
before the terracotta shore
to burn its electric fiery thirst
on the moonlit ocean floor -
there is not yet
a moment to name
this a perfect night
nor the end of day -
and the dry cork sand
of a varnished wooden coast
beckons white painted wash
to brush against its toes.
The copper sundown passes,
extinguished beneath the night
of the tarmac ocean raging
for the pleasure of linen moonlight.
Then, shades of red Cabernet seas
trickle into darkness, dead
amongst an island's tangerine sands -
its soul sleeping in its bed.
Fatigued, moon's milk eye shuts
and funeral black waves tussle wild
whilst dandelion sands of tomorrow
wake as a newborn child.
"A first collection, Starry Dandelion Night shows signs of real and distinctive promise [...]. At his best, McConalogue achieves a genuine note of lyricism (e.g. 'C.A.S.E.Y.'); his indebtness to both Auden and Muldoon is clear, but there are also passages of very decent Dylan Thomas inspired writing. [...] There are plenty of things to enjoy here and I suspect that future collections will be even better."
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