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Myth imagination and the psyche It is a book in touch and tune with the wellsprings of poetryNeither ‘believing nor disbelieving’ sometimes insouciant and always wideranging The Fifty Minute Mermaid is a book of accumulating force an. Dhomhnaill s object of study seems to be both the mermaid as myth and the mermaid as matter This paradoxical stance makes mermaids both elusive and present to the speaker and by extension the reader We don t know what is real but we find signs of the mermaids without water everywhereThe best part of the collection is the way Dhomhnaill summons nostalgia I found myself missing a sea I have never known and an ontology I ve never experienced

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The Fifty Minute Mermaid

D subtle consonance Paul Muldoon’s generous surrender to Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s poems supports José Saramago’s adage that the author with his or her language creates a national literature World literature is created by translators. I am still feeling my way through this collection Muldoon s translations are very much about him and for what they gain in luster panache and verve they sometimes lose in fidelity to the original Irish The idea of the Irish people as mermaids who have moved onto dry land and experienced the foundational trauma of losing water losing their roots and connection to the past whether that means the Irish language the Great Hunger the horror of colonial occupation and oppression or all of the above is an interesting one but the Ni Dhomhnaill s poems are murky and nebulous and too many of them deal with this trauma by projecting in the Freudian senseimplying a clouded cathected national psyche that needs to be explored further and mapped directly

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This extravaganza of marvellous tales conjures a biography of mermaids and in patterns of sometimes startling sounds and images traces the fate of their race It follows the paths and portals to another world Land Under Wave the realm of. This is the best book of poetry I have read in ages N Dhomhnaill writes from the conceit of a tribe of mermaids who evolve and adapt to living on land and the trauma that that entails Every poem was beautiful and full of deep imagery and hidden corners in both the Irish and the English that I d like to investigate And as a book it holds together so well I thought the inclusion of Part one was strange the few poems that are not mermaid poems I think she should have cut those out and saved them for her next book for unity I borrowed this from a library but I m going to buy my own copy now


4 thoughts on “The Fifty Minute Mermaid

  1. says:

    This is the best book of poetry I have read in ages Ní Dhomhnaill writes from the conceit of a tribe of mermaids who evolve and adapt to living on land and the trauma that that entails Every poem was beautiful and full of deep imagery and hidden corners in both the Irish and the English that I'd like to investi

  2. says:

    Dhomhnaill's object of study seems to be both the mermaid as myth and the mermaid as matter This paradoxical stance makes mermaids both elusive and present to the speaker and by extension the reader We don't know what is real but we find signs of the mermaids without water everywhereThe best part of the collection is the way Dhomhnaill summons nostalgia; I found myself missing a sea I have never known and an on

  3. says:

    I am still feeling my way through this collection Muldoon's translations are very much about him and for what they gain in luster panache and verve they sometimes lose in fidelity to the original Irish The idea o

  4. says:

    With the tension of the original Irish and the English translations side by side this collection of poems points to the fraught nature of the Ir