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Music From The Big Tent

By Macdara Woods

Music From The Big Tent

Music From The Big Tent is Macdara Woods’ first volume of new poems since Collected Poems (2012)

From the opening poem in which a bird falls dead at the feet of the strolling poet and his son, to the closing which references the well-known song ‘The Night Before Larry Was Stretched’, in this latest collection of his poems Macdara Woods looks, with un inching eye, beyond the certainties and consolations of the here and now.

Product Description

Music From The Big Tent is Macdara Woods’ first volume of new poems since Collected Poems (2012)

From the opening poem in which a bird falls dead at the feet of the strolling poet and his son, to the closing which references the well-known song ‘The Night Before Larry Was Stretched’, in this latest collection of his poems Macdara Woods looks, with unflinching eye, beyond the certainties and consolations of the here and now.

In a book which charts his own recent ill health and recovery, he celebrates “the courage and / The wonder / Of the naked body”, not least at a time “when the financiers / have poisoned all the blood banks / and the drug companies / have rendered us venomous”.

Though his subjects may be illness,frailty and dissolution, the insistence on witness and clear-eyed expression animates these poems with a defiant and by times exuberant energy. Poems such as ‘Big-Top Music’ and ‘A May-Day Aisling Skazka’ (“Here’s where the rhythm in the rhyme / Turns slower (as will yours in time)” tap in to a long tradition of playful music imparting dark visions, and add a new and captivating dimension to Woods’ ongoing dance in words and ‘In the open space between / The words”.

 

Big-Top Music

I’ve been drunk and I’ve been clear
I’ve been straight and I’ve been queer
I’ve been young and I’ve been old
I’ve been hot and I’ve been cold

I’ve been black and I’ve been white
I’ve been wrong and I’ve been right
I’ve travelled far and I’ve travelled back
I’ve been tight and I’ve been slack

I’ve been living I’ve been dead
I’ve been a mind without a head
I’ve been false and I’ve been true
I’ve been me and I’ve been you

I’ve been good and I’ve been bad
I’ve been haven’t and I’ve been had
I’ve been sharp and I’ve been blind
I’ve been cruel and I’ve been kind

I’ve been deaf and I’ve had ears
Had good days and had bad years
I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor
I’ve had doubts and I’ve been sure

I’ve been mad and I’ve been sane
I’ve been marked with the mark of Cain
I’ve been can’t and I’ve been could
I’ve been water and I’ve been blood

I’ve been lymph and I’ve been bone
I’ve been paper and I’ve been stone
I’ve been lost and I’ve been found
I’ve been a fox that’s gone to ground

I’ve been ancient and I’ve been young
I’ve been a song that never was sung
I’ve been here and I’ve been there
I’ve been him and I’ve been her

I have come and I have gone
I’ve been off and I’ve been on
I’ve been over and I’ve been under
Been the taker and the plundered

Been the vanquished been the hero
Patient X and Madame Zero
Been the loved one been the lover
This circus act that’s not yet over

Aetat LXX
July 2012

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Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 978 1 910251 1 71
  • Size: :
  • Pages: : 120
  • Published: : May 2016

About The Author

Author

Macdara Woods Born Dublin 1942. Poetry Collections: Decimal D. Sec. Drinks In A Bar In Marrakesh (New Writers’ Press 1970), Early Morning Matins (Gallery Press 1973) Stopping The Lights In Ranelagh (Dedalus Press 1987, 1988) Miz Moon (Dedalus Press 1988) The Hanged Man Was Not Surrendering (Dedalus Press 1990) Notes From The Countries Of Blood-Red Flowers (Dedalus Press 1994) Selected Poems (Dedalus Press 1996) Knowledge In The Blood: New and Selected Poems (Dedalus Press 2000, 2007) The Nightingale Water (Dedalus Press 2001) The Cello Suites (Bach With Verse USA 2003/4) Artichoke Wine (Dedalus Press 2006) The Cotard Dimension (Dedalus Press 2011) Collected Poems (Dedalus Press 2012) From Sandymount To The Hill Of Howth: A Mayday Aisling/Skazka (Quaternia Press in assoc. with Cyphers 2014) In Italian:Biglietto di Sola Andata (Moby Dick Editrice Faenza 1998) Con Pesaro ai Miei Piedi (Volumnia Editrice Perugia 1999) Translation: The King of The Dead and other Libyan Tales by Redwan Abushwesha, with the author and OrlaWoods Abushwesha (Martin Brian and O’Keefe London 1978) Edited Cyphers, Dublin, since 1975. The Kilkenny Anthology (Kilkenny Co Council 1991) Present Tense: Words and Pictures, with Jim Vaughan (Mayo Co Council 2006) Clare Island Sequence commissioned for/included in this time, this place (Mayo Co Council 2007).

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