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Maurice Whelan / Excalibur's Return

  • Maurice Whelan / Excalibur\'s Return
“If stillness can be tasted, precious memories will return, such as poetry once learned by heart, which in Maurice Whelan’s case told of King Arthur receiving his sword Excalibur from the maiden in the lake. If silence can be heard, a poetry in life will breathe, as in this poet’s observation about a dawn which ‘…holds / its perfection/as long/as you hold your breath’. As contrast to a hurried world, Maurice finds a treasury in stillness - Gaelic melodies in the twilight of his mind, his wandering in the slipstream of a silent father’s dreams, and from a wonderful ‘Perfect Pitch’ - his reassuring knowing that ‘the bow is on the string / fingers caress keys, eyes / are closing and heaven’s gate / is opening once again’. This beautiful anthology combines nostalgia for times past, gratitude for nature’s riches and a psychoanalyst’s characteristically sharp insights into personal relationships: ‘I wasn’t staring / I saw my youth in you. / That’s all.’ His skill in crafting apparently effortless lines, seldom interrupted by commas, semicolons or full stops, conceals the challenge of holding a pen and facing a blank page. ‘Sometimes / finding the right word / is like drilling through concrete / with a jackhammer.’ There’s a brave frankness in such an admission but the poetry which then emerges has been conceived from the peace in silence, the reflection and recall made possible by stillness. No wonder that, on a front page, before his own work begins, Maurice quotes Hazlitt: ‘Poetry…is not a branch of authorship: it is the stuff of which our life is made.’” - Stuart Rees
978 1 74027 693 1, 56pp




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