I hadn’t read the poetry of Bernard O’Donoghue before his most recent collection, The Seasons of Cullen Church. And yet, reading these poems, it seemed that I’d been reading him all of my life.
The poems O’Donoghue includes are poems of reflection and revisiting. No, you can’t go home again, but you can consider home in memory, and a life in memory, and understand what was important then is less so now, and what is important now was barely discernible then.
The Seasons of Cullen Church is a consideration of a life.
What does it mean for a grandfather to die at a young age, before his grandchildren will ever know him except by story and the memories of others? Or why did that copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary smell like cigarette smoke? Or remembering the insemination of dairy cows? Or seeing the nameplate on the school you attended? Or perhaps what it’s like to be traveling and arriving in an unfamiliar town?
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph: Bernard O'Donoghue at Oxford University.