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Selected and New Poems by John F. Deane

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John Deane opted for a Selected and New rather than the tombstone of a Collected to mark his eightieth year before heaven. He is still a living force, in physical and spiritual space: a Selected Poems (Snow Falling on Chestnut Hill, 2012) already existed. With substantial new work to share, it seemed timely to produce an essential volume, with compelling new work added to underline his work as witness.

He has emerged as one of Ireland's most important religious poets of recent times. His poems explore the beauty of the island where he was born, on the west coast of Ireland, and the wonders of natural creation everywhere. His imagination is most at home in rural Ireland, where the long centuries of scholarship and faith have retained their focus and shape.

Music is present everywhere in his selection, in the poems' lyricism and in their reference to composers and compositions, particularly Beethoven and Olivier Messiaen. The poems move from a childhood encounter with a basking shark off his Achill Island home, to an elderly gentleman climbing the stairs to bed. A love of the landscape of his home island is developed in poems that combine an awareness of beauty and fragility with the spiritual significance the physical world offers those who are open to it.

A 'rewilding' of old certainties of faith and worship, a movement through the gifts of spirt and Spirit occur. A new sequence, 'For the Times and Seasons', completes this generous celebration of a long life spent, and still spending, in poetry and faith.

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