JOHN WALSH: JOHNNY TELL THEM
Unit 15 Ráth Mór Business Park
ISBN 0 946451 95 8
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|JOHN WALSH: JOHNNY TELL THEM|
First collections — and I'm assuming that this is one — are often autobiographical. However, first collections do often leave you with the certainty that the next one will be totally different, and this one does.
John Walsh starts with his childhood in Derry — I particularly liked A PIANO:
I rarely heard my father or my mother sing. Neither of them played So I wonder whose idea the piano was.It reminds me of Douglas Dunn's A REMOVAL FROM TERRY STREET, where the neighbour in question had no lawn, but did have a lawnmower ...
As he moves through adulthood and into middle age, his range broadens: the autobiography is still there, but now it's background, not foreground, and there develops an acceptance of life and an enjoyment of the landscape in which the writer finds himself, even when he finds himself alone in an environment without any apparent meaning. The collection ends with a joyful Molly Bloom-like affirmation of life in YES:
yes to the non-heroes that receive little or no mention yes to the trees in the Appalachian mountain winds.
|reviewer: John Francis Haines.|