NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
IDRIS CAFFREY: RELATIVELY UNSCATHED
Cinnamon Press
Ty Meiron
Glan yr Afon
Tanygrisiau
Blaenau Ffestiniog
Gwynedd
LL41 3SU
UK
ISBN 978 1 905614 30 1
7.99

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This page last updated: 10th December 2007.
IDRIS CAFFREY: RELATIVELY UNSCATHED

It is not often a reader comes across a book of poems that gives unequivocal pleasure. Mr Caffrey's book is such a one. These are not ambitious poems that seek to change the world (and anyway poetry has little place in the world of movers and shakers). They are poems that quietly and lyrically describe the sometimes-complex simplicities of life such contradictions are the stuff of poetry.

	SNOW

	Stillness, sudden warmth,
	a few small flakes falling
	then growing like memories.

	I look into the sky,
	let the swirling snow take me.
	Sledges, the shrieks of children
	and a small room darkening
	with the last embers of a fire,
	until I find myself standing in the rain.
Mr Caffrey's writing is consistently accessible. He has no need of overt erudition or tortured imagery to dig beneath the surface of the seemingly ordinary. His is a finely honed craft this from HORSES IN WINTER:
	They stand patient and still,
	watching the world from afar
	as if not part of it anymore 
	their steaming breath taken away
	by the cold clutches of the day.

	...

	I think they will stand forever
	shuddering at the end of every day,
	silent as graves and long betrayed;
	waiting for the first bright star
	to draw the dark around them 
	hide the centuries of dismay.
Quoting this poet's work is difficult; each poem grows organically and to quote merely a few lines will not necessarily convey the quality of the whole. In a world that, in the main, sets out to shock, it is refreshing to read poetry of such quiet excellence.

reviewer: Michael Bangerter.