by Éadaoín Lynch
All that calms me afterwards is the waking dream / of getting everything I want. Almost.
Éadaoín Lynch is an Irish poet, freelancer & researcher living and working in Edinburgh. They have previously lead & co-edited for the Re·creation project and are currently Research & Evaluation Manager for the Scottish Book Trust, plus a Trustee of the StAnza Poetry Festival. They also operate as a freelance writer and editor, offering mentorship, feedback, and project support. Their work has appeared in Gutter, The North Magazine, Icarus, HARTS & Minds, The Kindling, and the Fawn Press anthology Elements. They were shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and the London Magazine Poetry Prize.
From time to time, you come across work from another poet that disturbs the fabric of your personal Universe. The last time this happened was during last year’s Sealey Challenge, with a book that I’m only now beginning to really get my head around. It’s currently inspiring my own piece of long-form work. I strongly suspect Éadaoín’s pamphlet will do the same, and my brain will thank me for it.
What’s in it for Me?
Occasionally, as a reader, you will be presented with a pamphlet that isn’t just the words and the spaces. It serves as an odd, unexpected portal that, if you allow it, can transport you to a space, a place and time that you have no understanding of, but which will not judge you for that lack of comprehension. Instead, you will find yourself as a bystander to something truly unique and precious. Other people’s lives told in poetry is the stuff of magnificent distillation, and that is what Fierce Scrow presents.
The world that Éadaoín Lynch allows me to see begins as totally unknown, yet with candour and intelligence the sounds, tastes and feelings of their history slowly emerge. Whether it is emotional meteorology in the superlative Knot, how baking is imprinted with familial memories in Study of Bread or the minutiae of loss in Glór, every single word allows the mind to picture places a world and time away. I am also immensely grateful for the explanatory notes, fixing each tableau in a stronger context.
There has been found an unexpected solace in these words during a difficult period of emotional turmoil, and if that’s not enough of an indicator of how deeply personal yet accessibly open these poems are, I don’t know what else to say. The best poetry’s subsidiary function after being entertaining and informative is to give you what you needed, often without realizing that it was required. The sense of self in these poems stands vibrant and with a vital, beating heart. It grants permission to become one with both past and present, and to feel comfortable in both.
Knot for the imagery
Dear Anne Lister for the inference
Deora Dé for the impact
Any Other Business
The last few weeks have been a struggle to keep reading, during a personal period where all I’ve really wanted to do most days is sleep and not think about anything. Writing this from notes, it has occurred to me that this pamphlet’s done more than become a review. I’ve not done it justice on the few readings I’ve done. Sitting on the desk in front of me is something that didn’t just make things better, it encouraged me to write.
There is a lot said about the details of poems, their meanings, the layers and their complexities, but sometimes all you want is to feel as if the world you’re given is one you could lose yourself within, if only for a while. I did just that with Fierce Scrow and allowed somebody else’s experiences to become a narrative I could be lost in without judgement and with kindness. This pamphlet was a soothing balm, moments and spaces that were visited and enjoyed in quiet contemplation.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to read it.
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