Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín by Oisín Breen
Beir Bua Press, January 2023
Music, language, and the relationship between love, loss, meaning, and identity shape this second collection from Irish poet Oisín Breen. Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín is a collection of two of the longer-form works Breen favors alongside a series of shorter naturalistic pieces that take common subjects, from the rearing of ducklings to young lust, then subvert them by employing an atypical gaze. Of the two longer pieces, the title work, “Lilies,” infuses the ancient Irish myth, Tochmarc Etine, into a contemporary story of motherloss, aging, and sexual awakening. The second, “Ana Rua,” is an avant-garde incantation of love. Characterized by unusual and wide use of language and form, Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín is available through Beir Bua Press.
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