Departure of O’Driscoll leaves us all the poorer

The Irish Times – Thursday, December 27, 2012


Civility, a word all too infrequently used, or indeed required nowadays to describe anyone, certainly applies to the Irish poet Dennis O’Driscoll whose loss as an artist is almost as great as the personal tragedy of his passing.

His abrupt death on Christmas Eve put a premature end not only to his life but to a compelling and subtly persuasive body of work. His calm, measured poetic voice with its inspired observation and laconic understanding of human nature made him the lyric equivalent of William Trevor. O’Driscoll’s poetry saw to the heart of the ordinary, that most defining element of human existence.

“Life is too short to sleep through./ Stay up late, wait until the sea of traffic ebbs,/until noise has drained from the world/like blood from the cheeks of the full moon.” (From Vigil, in Foreseeable Futures: New and Selected

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