Memory and Materiality
The relationship between the speaking subject and the material world has been an important one for Vona Groarke – her poetic enquiries are always aware of that subject’s location in time and space, their moment in history. Though many of her poems have an identifiably Irish setting, Groarke does not see herself as an ‘Irish poet’ and resists a single cultural location as an interpretative centre of the poem. This chapter explores her work since Juniper Street (2006), analysing her changing representation of time as a means to explore the self’s relation to the other. The changing dynamics of home and family are reflected in Groarke’s increasing versatility of form, and in the self-reflexive nature of her recent work. As well as mediating between present and past, these poems also offer important insights into Groarke’s negotiation of the moment of experience and its assimilation in the finished poem.
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