We at Dead Man’s Press Ink wish you all a Happy New Year and in doing so would like to present our latest poetic offering:
THE DARK POOL By scholar, translator, author and poet: PETER O’NEIL
With this volume Peter O’Neill offers, once again, the demonstration of his talent, a mixture of vivid imagination, erudition and sensitivity. This talent is profound and exuberant, and with the mastery of his art, poetry has become second nature to O’Neill. Indeed, his poems demonstrate at every turn his knowledge and love of the literary tradition (from Virgil) whose heir he is, although he subverts it, ruthlessly sometimes, in the style of his forefathers (especially Rimbaud and Beckett, to whom he pays homage, and Baudelaire whom he translates here).The precise rendering of individuals, of their attitudes, their failures, their frustrations, but also of happy moments, everything here is imbued with a blatant truth in a space whose shapes, colours and scents irremediably amaze the reader. The various reflections of places and people multiply sensations produced sometimes from a detail, as in “The Drinker” in which, a simple drop, like a Vermeer window, leads us into a narrow everyday world; yet, at the same time, invites us, like a Baudelairian correspondence would, to enter the world of “The Barman”. Every vision therefore is the result of complementary perspectives, and O’Neill’s poems are subtly interconnected by Ariadne’s thread. Thus, “L’Impossible” draws on mirrors opening on to other worlds, while facing the inevitable, beyond the desert. However, desire and love multiply the opportunities for discoveries and fulfilment, and even death, as in “L’Idéal”, can be beneficial.The music of the poems contained in The Dark Pool is composed with a delicate knowledge of languages, here English and French. In the former, images of inertia can be contrasted with gerunds indicating life and continuous movement. In the latter, the roar of the Parisian métro rhymes with the wrath of the Minotaur, both animated by human instinctive urges in an urban, anonymous and noisy landscape.If The Dark Pool is a collection that equally attacks and satisfies our senses, it is also, of course, due to the meaning of its title and the very name of the Irish capital, Dublin (from the Gaelic Dubh Linn, “dark pool”), the place where one can see the, sometimes dark, reflection of not only the history of a specific city from its birth with the arrival of the Vikings, but also more widely that of modern man, a city now metamorphosed and cosmopolitan, that many poets (like Patrick Kavanagh or Derek Mahon, named here) have lived in and praised. The Dark Pool is the palimpsest that Peter O’Neill, generous man that he is, has inscribed in our hearts.
Brigitte Le Juez