Otherwise is the brilliant new pamphlet from prize-winning poet Sean O’Brien.
The season is high summer, the hour is late, the place is one where roots remain deep, but at the same time it grows unrecognisable — a terrain vague steadily absenting itself from human memory. Love holds it all together, preserving a sense of expectancy and promise, an intuition of immanence in the everyday.
Sean O’Brien is one of our leading poets, here with a pitch-perfect lyricism, an unflinching vision of the world as it is and as it could be, and a truth-telling humour that is both gentle and ruthless.
‘Sean O’Brien can bring to his lines the light touch of a cutting-edge; he is our best, most regretful, and least forgiving, observer of social, political and cultural damage; and the breadth of knowledge that informs and enlivens his work is enviable. What is most evident, though, is the way these characteristics serve poems that deepen and darken to engage those mysteries that are poetry’s truest discoveries.’
Paperback pamphlet. 28 pages