P J Kavanagh

Clean In The Open Air

Selected Poems

By

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It is difficult to isolate the special brilliance of Derek Mahon, because he is so various, and inclusive. Perhaps it lies in his overall tone, which is that of a man disgusted by the world, who nevertheless celebrates the world, by including just about everything that is in the world, tempering his disgust with a kind of lightness of spirit. He has Sappho say, of love, ‘a site of praise and not of grievances / whatever the torment – which we meet, if wise / in our best festive and ingenious guise’.

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