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as the glove the hand

By Pat Boran
Dublin: Dedalus, 2001
ISBN # 1-901233-80-4
85 pages

Comments by Bob Corbett
April 2013

The bulk of the poems in this collection are recollections of Boran’s childhood. They are very personal, often touching and a significant number of them hark back to his memories of his father, with much regret.

The poems tend to be short, capturing a memory, painting vivid and emotional moments. In the main I didn’t find them breath-taking, or the sort of poem I race into read to my partner, but poems I was happy to be reading, feeling the sort and gentle power of his expression of these memories.

“Tear” was an especially moving tour through his life, expressed in reaction to his ability to cry. And “Carrots” was a marvelous poem about food.

After 2/3 or more of the poems focused on his memories of youth, the next batch announced their inspiration from some poem, photograph, art work or such. “After a painting by . . .” “After a photograph by . . .” these poems would begin, but still would wend their way to some reminiscence of his family.

I enjoyed the poems and would recommend them to anyone, but I wouldn’t describe them as stunning or breath-taking, not the sort of poem I just have to share with another. Rather, each is a sort of lovely, gentle, soft moment in his history which the he generously shares with us readers.

Bob Corbett


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Bob Corbett