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The Vigilant One
January 1994


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The Painter's House
September 2013


City of Bridges

Jo Slade

ISBN: 1 903392 46 2

Page Count: 64

Publication Date: Sunday, May 01, 2005

Cover Artwork: Jo Slade


About this Book

In this her fourth collection of poetry, Jo Slade explores the fractured landscape of memories and meanings. These are poems of the journey; always moving forward and deeper into an essential truth that is her own individual voice. There is a shamanic quality to these poems, meaning and metaphor combine to create a unique music, a language sometimes tentative, that enables her to understand the complexity of meaning itself. Crossings are a necessary part of the journey. Sometimes risky, they require a kind of leap of faith, as in the act of poetry. But ultimately poetry sustains, even within the limitations of language, there is a way through to understanding. In "Crossings" we read:

You see too much
that is why the treachery of crossings
inhibits you.

Look -
the bridge is certainly wide enough
and utterly luminous.


Author Biography

Jo Slade lives and works in Limerick. She is the author of three previous books of poetry: In Fields I Hear Them Sing (Salmon, 1989); The Vigilant One (Salmon, 1994) which was nominated for The Irish Times / Aer Lingus Literature Prize; and Certain Octobers (Editions Eireanna, Quimpeir France, 1997) which recieved a publication bursary from the Centre du Livre, Paris. She was Poet-in-Residence for Limerick County Council in 2002/2003. She was nominated in 2003 for the "Prix Evelyn Encelot" Ecriture Prize, Maison des Ecrivains, Paris. Her poems have been published in many journals and anthologies, in Ireland and abroad.


Read a sample from this book

After Picking

Smokehouse apples in a bucket.
Things occur and pass away.
My Da said, "it's a story,"
he called it mysterious
the way appleblossom appears
even in snow.
It comes just as quick as it goes.

The apples in our orchard were different.
Beautiful they were, red and golden
and crisp as dry timber
sweet as honey on our fingers.
Sometimes I think he's here with us,
sitting under the silver maple
his head slung back casual
as if he'd like to stay.

Three buckets and a crimson moon.
Sometimes, if I see too clearly
if light changes those strange transparencies
I lose him again and again.
Every autumn it's the same story
of loss and gain,
of eyes full of apples red and golden
and noisy buckets full of rain.

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