Patrick Harte’s new collection of poetry enhances the reputation he very deservedly gained from discerning, grateful readers of his first book, Lost Lullaby, published in August 2011.
The poet, who is also a highly accomplished artist and sculptor, has again displayed great versatility in his writing. He possesses a lively imagination, a sophisticated intelligence and an inquiring mind, and it is evident in the poems in this second collection that he has the confidence, discipline and technical skill to produce work that consistently achieves its aims.
In his themes, mapped out as a confluence — human nature and the natural world, the human condition and the myriad phenomena of plant and animal life — the poet brings the reader to the point of juncture in a shared feeling of insight, understanding and enlightenment.
As a man who moved to live in rural North Galway after spending his childhood in the town of Tuam and most of his working life in the city of Dublin, Patrick has grown closer to nature, enabling him to represent in his poetry what it was said that Robert Frost represented, “something natural, familiar and wholesome: like farming, working the land and keeping in touch with the seasonal cycles.”
In this book, which affirms the validity of WH Auden’s definition of good poetry as “memorable speech,” Patrick Harte also evokes the transcendent spirit of what William Wordsworth meant when he urged that readers should, first and foremost, derive pleasure from poetry.
This splendid collection of poems makes manifest quietly, without fuss, Frost’s claim for all good poetry that “it begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”