Francis J. Kelly has written poetry all his adult life. This collection represents some of his finest works which focus on the transience of life and the passing of time from the perspective of a mature poet who finds peace in ephemeral beauty. The poems are peppered with Classical allusion but are grounded in the simple grace of the commonplace, moving seamlessly from the landscapes of lush Arcadia to the foothills of the Sperrins. The poems constitute observations on the wonders of the natural world, the innocence of childhood and the dignity of old-age. The mood is nostalgic, reverent, tinged with melancholy, yet is ultimately celebratory in focusing on the nobility found in everyday humanity. In the collection oblivious youth, life-long friendship, age-old grief, aging passion, and passing-on are all explored through the corridors of the poet’s own experience (as a child of a large family in Dungannon, a proud Gaelgoir who also loves the wealth of the English language, and a former teacher of Latin, English literature and the Classics), but also, and perhaps primarily, through the lens of a family man rejoicing in his many simple blessings.
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