NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
MARTIN BURKE: THE EASTER BALLAD
Wordsonthestreet
6 San Antonio Park
Salthill
Galway
Ireland
ISBN 978 0 9552604 2 1
13.99

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MARTIN BURKE: THE EASTER BALLAD

This is a collection of poems that together present a treatise on the spiritual nature of being, and is especially concerned with the concept of beauty, as this extract from ESSAY ON BEAUTY typifies:

	Ah Keats, you come to mind
	You with your one concern which is my concern
	In Rome and/or in Brugge
	Yes, beauty my one concern
	I have sung for nothing else nor will I sing without it
	& moonlight giving its accuracy and rightful moment
and also the Christian tradition:
	Towards the beauty of the perfect word
	Towards the rose and its core
	And singing, singing, singing
	Yes, the heart remembers
	Remembers and longs and sings from memory and longing
	Verb after verb, word after faithful word
	The soul rising
The above is from THE EASTER BALLAD. Some of the titles refer to the spoken/sung word, as in THE EASTER BALLAD, SINGING AT STARS, and NIGHT-SONGS for good reason, as the works, I feel, lean towards performance and the theatre. The influence of Walt Whitman on form is apparent, and the content is reminiscent of John Kinsella. Although I am very fond of the work of Whitman and Kinsella, this combination is not really my taste; but Burke has the ability to sustain a haunting rhythm and if he were to address more specific subjects, and be less detached, I think he would produce some astonishing work. This work is an interesting light read.

reviewer: Doreen King.