Deeley, a Dublin-based teacher, has broken new ground in Turane.  The familiar, fastidious wordsmith of the previous works is doing a dazzling new linguistic dance in the speech of his native Galway.  Turane (an inversion of nature), is a daring, inventive departure – assured as it is refreshing – from the more literary language of his previous book, Names for Love.  Challenging and unsettling as it may be for his readership, this new direction was as inevitable as it was necessary.  Few poets have exploited the colloquial with such effect.  Even Gaelic words serve him well.
A great artist is forever breaking new moulds.  Just as Joyce shed the stylised prose of the Portrait to write in the demotic of Dublin, so Patrick Deeley embraces in subject matter and in language the life and culture of Turane, a rural community.  In doing so he has found greater artistic freedom and an exciting new poetic voice, Vox populi of Turane.  Arguably, in finding a community he has found himself.  Only a poet cradled in the idiom and experience of a place and period could write a book as authentic and compassionate as Turane.  Adroit service is rendered to nature, community and the imagination, by these compelling poems.
Turane is an insider’s perception of a community.  The poet becomes the village, allowing the characters to speak for themselves.  And what a colourful cast!  All life is in this village.  In fact, for most of the inhabitants there might as well be no life beyond it.  Even its emigrants are saturated with it.  The natives are as rooted there as trees; held, with the exception of a dissident few, in its cultural vice.  For the most part they live closer to the soil and to one another than to any religious or ideological ethos, cherishing a pagan attachment to life while professing a stoic attitude to death:
Make the most, you’ll be here only a while, dreaming all this place.
If the stony grey soil of Monaghan got under Patrick Kavanagh’s skin, ‘Turane’ infiltrated Patrick Deeley’s bloodstream, demanding poetical recognition.  Far from being sentimental, he confronts the harsher features of the community, recording tinker-bashing, child molestation, a mugging, as well as the harsh lot of migrant workers.  Fundamentalist clerics and stroke politicians feature unforgettably.  Bad blood between neighbours is expiated ‘with a curse of purest joy’ upon the deceased’s grave.  There is grieving too for the untimely loss of a father.
A host of characters people this book, each in their respective ways convincing epiphanies of an Ireland that is, in some respects, regrettably passing – as in ‘Callows’, and yet viably present especially in the folk memory…  Patrick Deeley is pioneering a new poetical route in Turane.  Like all such uncharted ventures it is fraught with hazards.  He has clearly found his way and has delivered with predictable panache.


© Patrick Deeley 2013. All rights reserved.