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A Tour of Your Country
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Refuge at DeSoto Bend

Eamonn Wall

ISBN: 1 903392 36 5

Page Count: 80

Publication Date: Thursday, July 01, 2004


About this Book

Eamonn Wall possesses a bright eye for detail - a preacher on a plaza in New Mexico, a juke box in a Courtown café, the arrangement of objects in a window in Co. Sligo, pine needles covered in snow in South Dakota - and it is frequently from these visual images that the poems in his fourth collection take flight. More than anything else, Refuge at De Soto Bend celebrates the joys and heartaches of time spent intensely in the light. One of the many striking themes in this collection, and in much of Eamonn Wall's acclaimed work, is migration and the search for material and emotional shelter and refuge in unfamiliar locations. In "The Wexford Container Tragedy," both refugees and locals grieve and seek to come to terms with a new world born out of tragedy. Eamonn Wall, himself an emigrant, recasts the Irish experience of emigration in the light of a new phenomenon: emigration to Ireland. Here is a poet in tune with origins, dislocations, and the quiet moments that crave for description. Eamonn Wall observes and describes a complex world. He listens and records for us some of the resonant truths this bright life reveals about nature, family, memory, hunger, and public and private life in contemporary Ireland and America.


Author Biography

Eamonn Wall is a native of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, who now lives in Missouri. A Tour of Your Country is his fifth volume of poetry to be published by Salmon. His essays and articles are collected in From the Sin-é Café to the Black Hills (University of Wisconsin Press). He teaches at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


Read a sample from this book

The Countryman

He made his way by brown ditches.
A narrow road widened to a square.
The bridge held him to the town.

He lost sight of slack drills under
the great cathedral. When she walked
with her mother under awnings,
smoke lingered in the air. Talk
stopped. When a dog gave chase
to a car, the countryman cradled
change. The sun went behind clouds.

Days when crowds gathered on the
platform with flags-Dublin bound,
purple 'n gold-he owned the streets.

He walked the prom then wound a
slow return to the hills. The bridge
held him to the town. He favoured
winter-the rich air when the rain
had dripped through the chestnuts.

Though she took the boat after her
mother was buried, he did not let go
of his heart. Time was two footsteps:
one leaving town, another keeping it
in view. She knew nothing of the
countryman who was a nobody to
young bucks jostling towards the bar.
What job he held? What car he drove?

In St. John's, he learned the nurse's
names & lingered with the priest on
gravel in new, pebble-dashed sunlight.
In time, row houses took over the fields.

He made his way by brown ditches.
A narrow road widened to a square.
The old bridge held him to the town.

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