When I heard rumours that Polly Richardson Munnelly was bringing out a collection of poetry, I couldn’t wait. Having seen her perform and, on occasion, had the honour of sharing a billing with her, I knew this would be something special.
On Winter’s Breath’s arrival through my letter box, after pre-ordering it when the rumours proved true, it was the perfect antidote to a long week’s work. I immersed myself in a world Beyond Horizons to Sheer Madness and onto Fat Frogs. There is an array of offerings to balance or compliment any mood.
I consider myself lucky to be able, while reading through the words, cast my mind to memories of her performing them and to hear her voice. Yet, if you are not one of the lucky ones to have seen her orate them then you really do have a lot to look forward to. If you consider Winter’s Breath as a multi-course taster followed on with hearing the poems read, it is akin to accompanying that taster menu with a fine selection of wines to satiate the palate.
Polly gives her all with each stanza, each line, every word, all pivotal in the delivery for your enjoyment. Nature, nurture, conflict, kindness, they are all weaved through her words, embroidered for you to immerse yourself in or take a light read, saving the deeper dive for later. The poems leave a lasting impression on your heart, soul and mind.
Ivory Keys, Said the Bed, Just Trees, stunning pieces. The book’s title Winter’s Breath, that poem it itself whips you into the eye of a tornado then lays you gently on the grass unharmed, yet enriched. I have a few favourites one of which is, Funny How, a poem where it grabs life by the scruff and rattles out the truth, seeing the invisible, yet touches the blush of your cheek, gently.
Polly mentions friends, family, her loves and losses. One poem, Brass Bed has: for Kay, in gentle italics, written underneath the title, dedicated to a fellow poet whose passing left a void in both the poetry world and Polly’s, ‘Sat on the edge of somewhere and nowhere.’ A testament to her impact and a fitting poem for such a vibrant lady.
Little Feet – a piece, for every parent whose heart has that rip, edges so jagged that no thread can fully repair but stitch it just enough to hold it together to allow you carry on.
As for Fox Thought and Hound – The Chase, they are performances in themselves within every word.
For the sheer journey of emotions, quality and content, this book deserves five stars. It is that Friday feeling and that Saturday morning lie-in. It is a bird in flight, the glory of a Golden Eagle’s wingspan.
Polly Richardson Munnelly is Dublin born poet, currently living and writing in Dingle co Kerry, Ireland .She continues to run the Bulls Arse Writers group Navan co Meath remotely and her Tuesday’s Zoomers group of international poets. She has been published both nationally and internationally. Her debut collection Winter’s Breath is out and available on Amazon. She is currently working on her second collection.
Marie O’Halloran is represented by London agent, Kate Nash of Kate Nash Literary Agent under the pseudonym, Casey King. As a poet, Marie has twice judged Kanturk Arts Festival Poetry Slam, has had two poems commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition and won second place in Ennis Book Club Festival Caring for Carers Poetry Competition. Marie was the featured poet at an event for former Fulbright Professor of Poetry, Bradley Strahan and has read at various events and locations, and is published in several anthologies. As a playwright, Marie co-wrote the commercially staged play, Catching the Train and one of her plays was longlisted in 2019 Wexford Literary Festival’s Billy Roche International Short Play Award. Her short stories have been published in The Holly Bough, Ireland’s Own and The Incubator Journal. Marie was recently listed in The Bookseller Magazine’s Agent Hotlist for London Book Fair. Her agent is currently negotiating a deal for her series of crime novels.