Glittering lines, fine lyricism and sharp wit in three new poetry collections

Poetry: New work from Vona Groarke, Maureen McLane and Gabriel FitzMaurice

Vona Groarke: a collection to exult in. Photograph:  Ed Swinden/The Gallery Press

Vona Groarke: a collection to exult in. Photograph: Ed Swinden/The Gallery Press

How Do We Get These Lives? asks the second poem in Vona Groarke’s seventh poetry collection Double Negative (Gallery, €11.95). “You want to be gentle, of course you do, /to slip through as your body does . . .” Then Groarke characteristically turns and the volta answers with eight terrifying, glittering lines of an extended metaphor:

But someone has stitched these little traps
like tiny mirror sequins to your clothes
so every time you move you think
you can’t afford the glare.
When you shut your eyes, it’s as if
the white sheet all this flickers on
slips down an inch inside its clips
and the clips don’t move at all.

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