Friday, 12 September 2008

Nigel McLoughlin's Dissonances

A fascinating read that follows a man’s love for his family and the world about him. Dissonances is Nigel McLoughlin's fourth collection of poetry and his finest.

I am put in mind of a series of Polaroid photographs, for that, in essence, is what these poems are. Lyrical moments in time; a shutter of though and emotion upon subjects that are fleeting as a shaft of sunlight from a sky crowded with thunder clouds.

The volume, after a couple of poems relating to his toddler son, is divided into four parts. “Tales from Long Acre” juxtaposes the love of nature and McLoughlins absolute need to be in his beloved wilds with the press of life, the city stink and the urgent need of folk to be wherever they are not. “The Science of Signs” is a chapter of loss and the trying to understand what the world is trying to say. It is the photograph of an empty room, a child’s coat, a discarded shoe on the roadside.

“Shrapnel” is the most difficult section. It throws words and phases like blood spatter upon the walls of consciousness. There is no map to read this work, and the juxtapositions are often unexpected and startling. The final section, “Second Sight” has a melancholy feel; the benefit of hindsight at the end of a hard-earned life.

A truly masterful collection of work, Dissonances deserves a place on every would be poet’s shelf, for this man is surely a master of the art.

Author: McLoughlin, Nigel
Publisher: Bluechrome Publishing
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-1-906061-14-2
Pages: 80
Price: £12.99

Buy from Amazon: Dissonances


aims said...

Wow! You've made me want to have a look Rachel!

Leatherdykeuk said...

I was certainly impressed with it!

Caroline said...

You've sold it to me.

Leatherdykeuk said...

You won't regret it. It's the best modern poetry I've read, bar my own.

Caroline M Davies said...

I keep resolving not to buy any more books this year but I can see I'm going to have to make an exception for this one

Leatherdykeuk said...


Sorry! It is very good!

SueG said...

I'm so glad to see this review. I've read the book and it really is wonderful. But if you ever get to listen to him read his's a real treat. His lilting Irish accent brings a whole new dimension to the work.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Are there any recordings available?

leah fritz said...

I agree. I think Nigel's poetry is first rate, and it's great to see the reviews agree - but how come you have never posted the three A-magazine (Acumen, Ambit and Artemis) reviews of Going, Going... ?
All good wishes,

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks Leah, but you've lost me, I'm afraid - I'm not in with the poetry 'in crowd' so while I recognise the three magazines I am at a loss to follow your thoughts. Are you referring to Philip Larkin?