Bruised Reeds (Philip Quirke)

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Philip Quirke's work has been widely published. His first book of poems, 2009's 'Journey to the Shore', was very well received.

Another book, 'The Moulding Shop' explored the experiences of growing up in a provincial town between 1954 and 1963.

Born in 1950, Philip Quirke grew up in Alvina Brook, Bishopswater. He was formerly a priest in the Diocese of Ferns, and a teacher at Wexford CBS.

A reader's overview says that in his new collection of poems, Philip celebrates the natural and social world with 'a keen, reverent sensitivity'.

'His eyes and ears are vigilant, alert for the symbolic and the actual as the natural world repairs itself again and again despite the ravages wrought by time and tide.'

So too does he engage with the domain of human experience with all its vulnerability, and mystery, which cannot, essentially, be quantified. In these poems he engages tirelessly and courageously with themes of longing and loss, of hope and earned wisdom.

Always, he delves deeper to a place of equilibrium and consolation. These poems recognise the transience of life, but are full of a quiet conviction that life, despite its vagaries and heartbreak is endlessly precious. His is a compassionate and integral voice as he explores the heroism and vanity of living. His is a reassuring voice as he brings his readers to an understanding of our ordinary attempts to be true to our experience. This is a wise collection from a poet in his 60s who has journeyed through life with senses and soul keen and honed in many fires.