Cover image for Greetings to our friends in Brazil : one hundred poems
Greetings to our friends in Brazil : one hundred poems
Durcan, Paul, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Harvill, 1999.
Physical Description:
257 pages ; 22 cm
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6054.U72 G74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Paul Durcan has been at the heart of Irish cultural life for 30 years and his poetry has acquired a huge international following. Greetings To Our Friends in Brazil is his most challenging and engaging collection yet, one that addresses itself through Ireland and the Irish diaspora to the whole world beyond.
It is his most personal and his most public work, a book of tremendous imaginative power. By turns lyrical, humorous, angry, whimsical, generous and visionary, it is a meticulously honest record of a writer's inner life and a bold attempt to fix the soul of his country at a particular time: the years of Mary Robinson's presidency. The pain and recovery of Paul Durcan's inner odyssey are mirrored in the images of an Ireland awakening from the nightmare of its violent past, becoming freer and more cosmopolitan, and finding in Mary Robinson the unifying symbol for this new, more hopeful age.

Author Notes

Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944. His first book, Endsville (1967), has been followed by more than twenty others, including The Berlin Wall Caf#65533; (a Poetry Book Society Choice in 1985), Daddy, Daddy (winner of the Whitbread Award for Poetry in 1990), Crazy About Women (1991), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993), Give Me Your Hand (1994), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), The Art of Life (2004), The Laughter of Mothers (2007), Life is a Dream: 40 Years Reading Poems 1967-2007 (2009), Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being (2012), and The Days of Surprise (2015). In 2001 Paul Durcan received a Cholmondeley Award. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2004 to 2007. He was conferred with a DLitt by Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and by University College Dublin in 2011. In 2014 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Irish Book Award. He is a member of Aosd#65533;na.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Tired of skinny, skimpy poetry collections? Then this 257-page whopper's your man, as the Irish would say. Fascinating and involving it is, too, for though Durcan writes mostly about his life, as a continent-hopper with lovers behind and, hopefully, before him, as well as friends in Ireland's highest circles, his life is worth writing about. These 100 poems begin and end in Brazil, in between spanning the years of Mary Robinson's presidency of Ireland, during which it decisively shook off its stodgy image and Durcan went to the U.S., Somalia, and all over Europe, too. The poems reflect the travels and also Durcan's respect for the great earlier Irish poet Patrick Kavanaugh, the society of contemporary Irish writers, a little middle-aged angst, and Ireland's ongoing curse, "the troubles," about which Durcan often waxes furiously eloquent, especially in a suite of poems about bombings, their victims, and politicians' pious cant (he bears scant love for Gerry Adams). Even if you miss some of the references, Durcan's fluent free verse rivets attention. --Ray Olson