This book collects the poems of Thomas Kinsella from his five most recent Peppercanister pamphlets. As he has throughout his writing, here Kinsella sets himself, clear-eyed, to face hard truths: 'the waste and the excess' of the living process; ageing and emptiness; the cancer of war. But against these are the creatively redeeming impulses - of the search for understanding: 'an imagination arguing with itself / until the ache is eased'; above all, of 'Grace as desire - Joy of the flesh / Saying all it can of love.'
Thomas Kinsella was born in Dublin in 1928. He attended University College, Dublin, entering the Civil Service, before becoming a full-time writer and teacher in the United States. He is the author of over thirty collections of poetry, and has translated extensively from the Irish, notably the great epic The Tain. He was a director of the Dolmen Press and Cuala Press, Dublin, and in 1972 founded Peppercanister Press for the publication of sequences and long occasional poems. The editor of The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse and of Austin Clarke's Selected Poems and Collected Poems, Thomas Kisnella is also the author of The Dual Tradition (Carcanet), a critical essay on poetry and politics in Ireland. His awards and honours include Guggenheim Fellowships, the Denis Devlin Memorial Award, the Irish Arts Council Triennial Book Award and honorary doctorates from the University of Turin and the National University of Ireland. In 2007 Thomas Kinsella was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin.