If there is a word which most accurately describes Terry McDonagh in Fourth Floor Flat, it is iconoclast. Nothing is sacred, not even himself. In 44 cantos, he invites us into his abode, where he dissects every aspect of his inner world; exposes and confronts his hopes, fears, and self-doubts. Nor does his iconoclasm grant any mercy to the controllers of this planet, religious or secular, and all those who try to put nature into a box, regulate and tame it. He is a contemporary Jean Jacques Rousseau in that his ideal is in the natural, unfettered inclinations of children, as in the poem Children Are Wise, where he urges us to ‘Gather up the bliss and thrills of youth / go to the fields to be young again.’ He straddles masterfully both his past and his present, bringing both to life in his most profound and confessional work to date, a tour de force of resonance and rhythm, association and imagery, and, most wonderful of all, his imagination, as unsuppressed and vibrant today as it was in his youth.
Poet, Founder member of the Ox Mountain Poets
A detailed review by Jack Grady of Terry McDonagh’s collection can be found Here.
Fourth Floor Flat, published by Arlen House, can be ordered from Mayo Books at: https://www.mayobooks.ie/Terry-McDonagh-Fourth-Floor-Flat-9781851321964
It can also be ordered from Amazon, Kenny’s Galway www.kennys.ie and all good bookshops.
It can also be ordered from the Syracuse University Press at: https://press.syr.edu/supressbooks/148/fourth-floor-flat/
© Jack Grady