The new book from the popular Irish poet.
Using a wide variety of styles and tones, the strands of poems in A Smell of Fish radiate like the spores of a wheel: haiku, sestinas, poems about foreign travel, verses beginning with a line by someone else, a sea sequence set in Alderburgh and - long overdue - Matthew Sweeney's own version of the Old Irish poem 'Sweeney'.
In this, his seventh collection, we are back in a world of mysterious clarity, of an alternative realism that is as playful as it is unsettling: we are shown a blue dyed chihuahua, a recipe for roadkill, second-world-war fighter planes appearing over London, a fatally constipated bull elephant, and a subterranean tunnel that runs the length of Ireland. Whatever the subject, we are in the confident hands of one of the most imaginatively gifted poets now writing.
“Sweeney's poems are reflective, funny, supremely inventive and impeccably written. This is contemporary poetry at its very best.”