Slitting the Tongues of Jackdaws – Eilish Martin

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 between breith for birth
and the word for a slow death
there’s phosphorescence

                                                                        (In Irish)

 In this exquisite first collection, Eilish Martin renders defining moments of loss, of illumination, or of quiet reflection in language that is once compressed and expensive, senuous and philosophical. These poems are of earth and air, grounded in the reality of experience, yet graced with the ethereal. Whatever the setting – an ancient burial site, a mediterranean shoreline, or a domestic interior – the seemingly effortless spill of her words transports us into a realm where past and present, myth and reality fuse. Moments become more than themselves, as the poetic ‘narrative steps outside its fixing agents’, without overstepping caution. Eilish Martin does not expect the pen (like the spade) ‘to come bright again’.

having sunk
its glitter
in the work
                                                                        (Spade Work)

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