Curve of The Moon
Page Count: 120
Publication Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Cover Artwork: The Moon And The Owl (oil on canvas) by Pádraig Lynch
About this Book
Curve of The Moon is a haunting exploration of individual and collective voices. Divided into four sections, this new collection deals with life as lived at the edges, where myth and reality overlap in an untamed landscape, where earth-mother sonnets curve around a moonland of dreams. In section three the poet realises that the threat of extinction has kept the Irish language alive. Monahan's belief that we are essentially alone prevails throughout the collection and the truths of yesterday are questioned alongside the false gods of modern times. The final section, Diary of A Town, follows a storyline through seasonal changes to the outspoken roads of his imagination. Monahan enters a psychic wasteland, creates bridges that give access to a youthful reimagining of the past and raises the voices of a forgotten community to full poetic chorus.
Monahan's voice is shimmering with light, at his best when writing about life in the country ... Noel Monahan is a poet with a strong track record.
Maureen Gallagher, Poetry Ireland Review
Noel Monahan has transformed the base metal of words, through the crucible of wisdom and experience, into the molten gold of poetry.
Helen Dwyer, Irish Writers Union
Monahan cares for his place, ... the dark days and the moon filled nights, the sullen earth and the sparkling dewdrops on a five-barred gate.
Rita Kelly, Giving Voice, Contemporary Cavan Writers
Noel Monahan has won numerous awards for his poetry and writing. His awards include: The SeaCat National Poetry Award, organised by Poetry Ireland, the RTE P.J. O'Connor Award, the ASTI Achievements Award, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award and The Irish Writers' Union Poetry Award. His poetry is prescribed text for LEAVING CERTIFICATE ENGLISH, due for examination in 2011 and 2012. Curve of The Moon is Noel Monahan's fifth collection of poetry. Opposite Walls was published in 1991, Snowfire in 1995, Curse of The Birds in 2000 and The Funeral Game in 2004, all published by Salmon. His most recent play, The Children of Lir, was performed by Livin Dred Theatre and directed by Padraig McIntyre. Noel Monahan holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.
Read a sample from this book
Review: by Fred Johnston in Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 101
Review: by Kevin Kiely, Books Ireland Summer 2011, No. 331
A bumper collection, anecdotal and imagist including the lengthy "Diary Of A Town" and with sonnets while the truest criticism is in "Summer Holiday" We are a possessive people, attached: / To small holdings, a view we take on trips." And "Holiday homes if we won the lotto". In "A Ghostly Letter From Sheridan To Swift" the contemporary is glossed with another era: "Only Pat The Baker survived the fall / And Dunne's Stores Better Value Beats The All". Dissatisfaction pervades "Catching Each Other By The Tail":
Politicians in mohair suits,
Grease the wheels of the treadmill,
Bend the Green Greenness of Éire
So the peas can run freely in their pods,
Then pause and listen to themselves.
In Monahan's Ireland the natives wear tight shoes and perhaps never run free. The moon leitmotif as blade of reality is benign in "Curve Of The Moon": "Maiden, mother and moon, / Ladleful of milk in the stars" while "November Moon" is the celestial clock with "Its drowned face below a sea of stars / Has yesterday’s light on its lips." Nature and Eros are the only constants as in "Sheela na Gig" which yields a redolent image, "Gaping vulva in the curve of the moon."
"Diary Of A Town" is both dirge and celebration over twelve sections evoking Monahan's townspeople, moving from schooldays to the grave while the conclusion is mildly comic as trousers have to be put on to face another year. Time is not but was: This is the Monahan vision.