Michael O’Dea

Life
1955- ; b. Co. Roscommon; short-listed for the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune awards in 1994; placed third in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition, 1994; issued Sunfire (1997) and Turn Your Head (2005); The Green Road (2005); currently lives in Dublin.

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Works
Sunfire (Dublin: Dedalus Press 1997), 63pp.; Turn Your Head (Dublin: Dedalus Press 2003), [72pp.]; also The Green Road (Dedalus Press 2005), 72pp.

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Commentary
James McAuley, review of The Nitpicking of Cranes [inter al.], in The Irish Times (12 Feb. 2005), Weekend, p.10, quotes: ‘The blackthorns above Fenore / are flight rooted; / they are folklore’s skeletons, / beggars of the green road.’ Remarks: ‘So begins the first poem of Michael O’Dea’s second collection, The Green Road. The quiet assertion of a metaphor is carried down through four two-beat quatrains. Metaphor sustains diction and tone, rather than imposing some “Important message” on the imagery. This is likeable poetry, sometimes cryptic, sometimes expansive, meeting each subject more or less on its own terms. A few darker poems toward the end are followed by a sequence on the killing,flelds of Cambodia , in the voices of 15 victims. Like Padraic Colum and James Stephens before him, O’Dea is in danger of being praised for poems such as “At Naomh Einne’s Well” and “Visiting Lough Ree” while his eye-stinging poems on human frailty and human cruelty, such as “Suddenly...” and “Seeing …” are overlooked.’
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Reference
Website: There is a selection of his poems at GoFree Indigo website [link].


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