“A wonderfully coherent and satisfying collection – and a very moving one. I was thinking of Seamus Heaney and Emily Dickinson talking about telling the truth slant: this book tells it four-square. It is wonderful”.
“A completely original collection of remarkable poems”.
Smitten Soul is the story of a soul. Poetry, like prayer, should be strong enough to stand up to the dark, hence this collection is subtitled “Illuminating the Dark”.
The poems in this book have been collected from a lifetime of writing: they progress from spiritual poverty through the dark night of the senses to the celebration of a soul that has found rest. Along the way, this soul wrestles with a Church it has lost faith in, the decline of religion, and ideas of truth and beauty challenged by the modern world.
The lone soul journeys through these poems, eventually finding the grace of a community in prayer. Smitten Soul is a frank account of spiritual struggle in the modern world, one that will appeal to anyone who travels towards the light.
MORE PRAISE FOR GABRIEL FITZMAURICE
“[T]he best contemporary, traditional, popular poet in English”.
RAY OLSON, Booklist (US)
“Fitzmaurice is a wonderful poet”.
GILES FODEN, The Guardian
“Fitzmaurice is one of Ireland’s leading poets... a master of his art”.
“He has a gift for making the quotidian interesting and investing the ordinary with extraor- dinary significance”.
GEARÓID MAC LOCHLAINN, The Celtic Pen
"Not unlike those of Goldsmith and Burns, these poems are endowed with charm, wit and gen- erosity of spirit... He transcends sentimentality to effect what that redoubtable school inspector Matthew Arnold would recognise as ‘a criticism of life’”.
JAMES J. MCAULEY, The Irish Times
"[T]he poetry of Gabriel Fitzmaurice is salutary. . . This is poetry of the felt experience as D. H. Lawrence would have advocated. . . The eternal verities of place, character, and local colour are frozen like a Vermeer... Gabriel Fitzmaurice’s poetry is visionary and durable, unforced and deceptively simple”.
BRENDAN HAMILL, Fortnight
“Real stories told in real language, the poems of Gabriel Fitzmaurice have the simple reality and powerful magic of the true folk song... and the songs are haunting and beautiful”.
“Orpheus is holding up just fine... There’s a great élan and dúchas in [the] sonnets... and [I] took pleasure in the energy of the poems”.