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Everything Else We Must Endure

  • Image: Image
  • Book Type: Poetry
  • by: Brian McGettrick
  • Date Published: February 2011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-934513-29-3
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 52pp
  • Price: $13.00
  • Review by: Renee Emerson

Everything Else We Must Endure is the first collection of poetry by Irish poet Brian McGettrick. The book, published by sunnyoutside, a small independent press, is beautifully designed—a slim gold-colored volume with artwork by Jonathan Barcan on the cover.

The poems, while adhering to standard punctuation, abandon the use of capitalization throughout the book, with the exception of capitalizing “I” – and, in one poem, “Christ” – whenever it is used. The lines are short, sometimes consisting of a single word, and the poet favors simple, everyday language. The majority of the poems are also very brief, only two or three stanzas long, and focus on a single, meaningful moment. For example, the two stanza poem “jealously on the cusp of commitment” couples the moment in a relationship with the context of the larger world around them:

as she drags her thumb
across my lips
I know she is silencing
the questions I have.
I look at the sky
and am jealous of the distance
it has achieved.

Other themes explored include spirituality in “an unbroken crucified Christ” and “what the greek gods realized.” McGettrick shows a fascination for how things fall apart—in “block of bad days,” he muses, “to what extent / we have made ugly / what was once beautiful.”

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Review Posted on March 14, 2011

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