Language pervades our world, the media, our relationships, minds and hearts. We learn it and we pass it on. In Tongues, Micheal O'Siadhail delights in language and shares its wonder and fascination.
Like a genetic code, language brings human life over thousands of years into the present. It unites the personal and the social, allows for continuity and novelty and can arouse the strongest passions.
O'Siadhail explores individual words, plays with grammar, and meditates on pictograms and the distilled meaning of proverbs across cultures. The variety of forms from sonnets to complex rhyming and syllabic patterns matches the thematic richness.
'O'Siadhail is both a poet of the world and for the world… Like Yeats, O’Siadhail embraces the full range and depth of English. Like Yeats, he is tuned to the musical possibilities of poetry… O'Siadhail's poetry is intricately complex yet accessible' – Richard Dilworth Rust, Irish Literary Supplement
'All his poetry defies conventional categories: it is counter-cultural and cross-cultural, transcendent and intensely of this world…its roots and context are Irish, but its scope traverses the globe' – Margaret Masson, Durham University
'One of our foremost poets…his work is that rare combination of the intellectual and the emotional' – Eugene O'Brien, The Irish Book Review
Micheal O'Siadhail reads two poems
Micheal O'Siadhail reads two poems, 'Between' and 'Transit', from his Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2013). This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes five poems from his Collected Poems read by Micheal O'Siadhail.