Despite you and your kindIreland remains my native land -My Golden Island"from "Golden Island Shopping Centre
In The Art of Life Paul Durcan takes us around County Mayo in his "filthy, two-door, bottle-green Opel Astra", stopping off at Westport and Achill Island, where he declares himself to be "globally sad", but "locally glad". Next he travels east to Dublin to hold in his arms his newborn granddaughter and thence to Tuscany, Poland and Japan. Along the way he reflects upon parental pride, the aches and pains of old age, the trim bottoms of snooker players, the wisdom of ex-wives and dogs on Sandymount Strand, while introducing us to a host of colourful characters, including a bishop, a roofer, a milkman, a priest and an unmarried mother. Is there an art of living or is life a work of art? This magnificent new collection - published on Paul Durcan's sixtieth birthday - reveals one of Ireland's most successful and popular poets at the height of his powers and continuing to challenge, amuse and delight.
“displays an embedded poet catching the strains, hysterical and sad, of contemporary Ireland, but ready too to stare inwards at the fearful and vulnerable self.”
Colm Tóibín, Guardian