The Pot of Earth and the Iron Pot (Paperback)
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'I was happy being machinewhen round the bend beside a streamwas birdsong happening in the trees.'
Ruth McIlroy is a poet of the 'tilting world'. Her lyrics are charged with immediacy and proceed off-kilter in the revelation of familiar experience as unfamiliar and normality as something quite other. There is much here, directly and indirectly, of heroic Gaelic song, both ancient and modern, conveying humour, darkness and arresting beauty executed with startling, sure-footed precision. Whether in lamentation, the conjuring of a curse or jogging in the park, in every mode the singer is possessed by the song. I once asked a Gaelic singer from the Isle of Lewis - What are you thinking about when you sing these songs? Oh the song mostly, the song, she said. Ruth McIlroy has this secret and doesn't so much make it new as show us that it never grew old. At every turn in The Pot of Earth and the Iron Pot song is happening not only in the trees but almost everywhere else too.-Kelvin Corcoran
Comments on the author's previous publication:
'It's pretty easy to see why Guppy Primer by Ruth McIlroy won the recent Poetry Business Competition - It's a bundle of sharp, perfectly weighted poems....playfully attractive intelligence... there is depth here too, a copper-bottomed profundity that is likely to last and suddenly spring to mind unbidden... another of McIlroy's strengths, a graceful musicality that makes you aware of its presence but never in an overpowering way. This underlying music grounds what in lesser hands might be poems that live solely in the head, and brings them to life with delightful effect.'-Rishi Dastidar, Magma
'...fresh and striking... hard to believe this is a debut pamphlet' -Jane Draycott, PN Review
'Ruth McIlroy offers up a set of irresistible poems, full of warmth and humour....McIlroy has an insatiable appetite for language...vibrant and memorable.'-Denise Saul, PBS Winter Bulletin 2017