"Thank you, O golden mother, / For giving me a life," says Paul Durcan in this brilliant new collection, a poignant tribute to "the first woman I ever knew". Sheila MacBride came from a political family - her uncle John MacBride was executed in 1916 for his part in the Easter Uprising - but when Sheila married into the "black, red-roaring, fighting Durcans of Mayo" she was obliged to give up a promising legal career. These poems commemorate his mother as Paul Durcan remembers her - playing golf, reading Tolstoy, and initiating him in the magic of the cinema. He recalls her compassion and loyalty when he was committed to a mental hospital in adolescence and how she endured the ordeal of her old age. [#] Durcan also muses upon the beauty of Greek women and questions our need for newspapers and the new religion of golf. He is beguiled by a beggar woman, enraged by a young man picking his nose on the Dublin-Sligo commuter train, and gets into difficulty at the security gate of Dublin airport.