'[His] voice speaks clearly on the page in poems of harrowing intimacy, politics and love. He holds a mirror up to himself: but we can see ourselves over his shoulder, whoever we are' - Carol Ann Duffy, Guardian
WINNER OF THE 2014 IRISH BOOK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Cries of an Irish Caveman is Paul Durcan's most inspired and surprising collection of poems. Through four distinct sections, he brings his tender lyricism to bear on the themes of love and loss, life and death.
The first section describes an experience in Australia which provides a starting point for reassessing his past relationships and loves. The second returns to Ireland, its people and places, the celebrated and the unknown. The third section is a meditation on his daughter's marriage, placing within an historical and sacramental context a very personal event.
And finally, in some of his most daring and original writing, Durcan describes his own twentieth-century romance, replete with ecstacies and inevitable agonies, beauty and hope, but also brutality and self-abasement.
“Paul Durcan's Ireland is the one we inhabit. At times he is ready to celebrate the bizarre and the ordinary; at other times he is full of a surreal rage against both order and disorder”
Colm Toibin, Times Literary Supplement
“For him poetry is story-telling and his stories are told in a direct fashion that makes them totally accessible... Paul Durcan's poetry sings”
Roger McGough, Sunday Tribune
“Durcan's poems contain an essentially empathetic morality. He slips from character to character (a bishop, a milkman, a refugee, a single mother, a roofer), and succeeds in demonstrating how near the foreign can be, and how comic or common the concerns”