Poetry Book Society Special Commendation
Richard Murphy (1927-2018) was one of Ireland’s most distinguished poets, known particularly for poems drawing on the people and history of the west of Ireland with classical rigour and 'unvarnished' clarity. He emerged in the 1950s with John Montague and Thomas Kinsella as one of the three major poets in the new Irish poetic renaissance.
The Pleasure Ground expands the scope of his much acclaimed Collected Poems of 2000 to include a selection of new poems along with an appendix featuring illuminating commentary on the historical and personal background of some of his most notable work, including 'The Cleggan Disaster', 'The God Who Eats Corn', The Battle of Aughrim, and the poems of High Island.
'Oscillating from beginning to end and from page to page between narrative and lyric, public and private, love poem and elegy, The Pleasure Ground is a hugely significant achievement. Now well into his ninth decade, Richard Murphy continues to be a poet of great fortitude and resource, one of the finest of our time' – Michael Longley, Irish Times.
'Reading again his poems...is to find him still a compelling storyteller with an active social conscience...These poems are pebbles creating resonant ripples on the surface of a lifetime's work... Highly recommended' – Hayden Murphy, Glasgow Herald.
Ireland: Lilliput Press
Richard Murphy reads ‘Sailing to an Island’
Richard Murphy reads his poem ‘Sailing to an Island’ at his home near Kandy in Sri Lanka in 2015. From a film in progress by Peadar King first shown at INISH Festival on Inishbofin in May 2015.