Máighréad Medbh

Pagan To The Core

ISBN: 9781851320882

Máighréad Medbh’s gaze is unflinching whether it’s turned on her West Limerick country girlhood, her turbulent emergence into the life of the city and work, or her own consciousness as it negotiates awakening and motherhood. This is courageous poetry, charting the journey of the female soul through an almost clinical exploration of the female body’s desires and vulnerabilities. She is not afraid to call it as she sees it and if her truth telling is uncomfortable, it is also liberating and slightly surreal — as if one had just had a cup of tea with a brown bear. In her den. Her narrators are often in extreme states: of rejection, ecstasy, sexual arousal or the ‘disaffection’ of the new sequence. Sometimes these poems are very funny indeed: both funny ha ha and funny peculiar. Maps to zones of the psyche that are rarely explored in Irish poetry, they are built to be experienced on the pulse, and ‘in the deep heart’s core’.
– Paula Meehan, Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2013
she’s surprised they ask her family name and origin.
she has not begun, don’t they know, to call herself.
she is arty not artist, servant uncivil, urbane rustic,
universal irish, limerick by element only.
name her alpha.

– from ‘Eating Out’