Plainchant

Eamon Grennan. Red Hen, $15.95 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-1-63628-013-4

The delightful and sonically textured prose poems in Irish poet Grennan’s latest (after There Now) pay whimsical and deep attention to the world. The wonders of daily life and nature abound, as in the opening poem, “Encounter”: “Knacky keen and swift was the flighty hare that flitted almost up to me in Fogarty’s near field where I tried to stand still as a post.” A few pages later, “Lark-Lustre” opens “Gravity-defying, the lark in the clear air of a June morning stays aloft on a hoist of song only,” and considers the impact of this moment before concluding, “alive to what is over our heads—song and silence—and the lot of us leaning up: mind-defeated again, just harking to it.” The book’s final poem revisits—or is revisited by—the hare of the opening poem, which appears and then is “gone under the metal gate and through my neighbor’s garden, and gone, gone again as on a raw electric current of aliveness: but gone—as the dusk that is fast becoming hare-colored will soon be gone too.” The link between the color of the hare’s fur and the “hare-colored” dusk is characteristic of this poet’s vision, which often lands on beautiful symmetries. With his excellent ear and verbal wit, Grennan reveals a world overlooked. (June)
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