Book Review for The Ghosts of Barnacullia:

Subterranean Blue Poetry

Volume VII Issue VIII


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The Ghosts of Barnacullia

Author: Paul Perry

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2019

Pages: 32

"Catch the blue train
Places never been before"
- from Somewhere Down the Crazy River by Robbie Robertson

The Ghosts of Barnacullia is a hauntingly beautiful Imagist long poem, the story of journey through a lifetime, looking back through poetic letters, the story of memory, loss and sorrow, expertly told through the Poet's craft. Paul Perry is a Poet, writer and teacher at University College Dublin. He recently won an Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary as well as the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. He has written 5 collections of poetry, 2 Chapbooks and co-authored 4 Karen Perry best-sellers.

This long poem exists within the inside of silence, distances and longtime passing; the poetry rolls out sweet and quiet, of a time in shadows. It is as if the Poet is a survivor of some dark secret, perhaps a calamity that has occurred on the edge of the woods, a haunting. The earth is a very haunted place. The poetry writes in a disconnected thought train, repetition of words creates cadence, sometimes the words talk in circles, sometimes the words are run on sentences, a dance; the effect is profound and beautiful, of a long journey.

The themes include death, beauty of nature, allusions to a brother murdering a sister, breaking of bread, a drink at the bar, learning Irish, his daughter, his father and more, all wrapped in shadowland, where people, places and situations are not named only alluded to.

From Shepherd's Purse "Look: a man walks into a field. A field with shepherd's purse.

He falls.

He falls again.

Every day, from this day until kingdom come, he falls into the embrace of a field of flowers, into shepherd's purse."

The imagery is beautifully woven into emotional landscape and storytelling, a classic presentation in literature.

From Puffins in Marley Park

"Each note of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater traced by my finger and held and guided by yours

like the birds she travelled across the world to see, like the wind without, or a puffin sky-


Or like the divers diving for the fresh raw heart of morning.

The first. And the last."

A brilliant rendition of love, memory and time, The Ghosts of Barnacullia by Paul Perry.

Available at above/ground press.

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2019