A Poetics of Flux
Catherine Walsh is the most significant woman amongst Irish avant-garde poets, best known for her long poems in experimental form. Throughout her career to date she has engaged with the intersection between spatial and temporal concerns, and their impact on the individual human subject. Her treatment of memory emphasises its fragmented and provisional nature, and the challenges to language in engaging with the past. This chapter is principally concerned with two of her works – Idir Eatortha (1996) and City West (2000) – in which innovations of form challenge the notion of coherent subjectivity. In both these books the impression of being on the margins of definable space is powerfully communicated. The relationship between experiential and poetic space is brought to bear here on notions of continuity, as they relate to the construction of shared memory and to the evolution of poetry traditions.
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