The Language of Coats by Deirdre Hines – review

Published by New Island Books

Publication date – 14 May 2012

Source – competition win

Deirdre Hines’ first collection of poetry includes the six poems that won her the Listowel Poetry Collection competition prize in 2011 alongside over two dozen new poems.

Her poems address our times in metrically precise poetry that weaves images of luminosity using many different characters. They take the reader on journeys that traverse untrodden terrains.

The Language of Coats is a pleasure to read, all the more so because of the time and craft the poet has applied in bringing it to fruition.

This is the first time I have reviewed a poetry collection. In fact, it’s not that often I read poetry. But I had this collection on my bookcase and I suddenly found myself wanting to read it. At first I was unsure what to say. Some poems I had an immediate reaction to, I knew that I liked them, or perhaps didn’t as much, though I would not be able to say why. I was therefore worried that I wouldn’t be able to adequately review the collection. Then I realised that this can often be the case with a piece of prose, be it fiction or non fiction. Sometimes we just have reactions to a piece of writing and that is all that is needed.

This is a short collection, only 43 pages, but it didn’t feel like the reader was left short. The introduction gives a fascinating insight into the background of Deirdre Hines and her inspiration. There are a variety of poems with different styles. Some have common themes, for example I picked up on nature often being used as basis for a poem, or sayings from a childhood. Other readers would no doubt pick up on themes that wouldn’t cross my mind.

I put bookmarks in pages containing poems I had an immediate affinity with. Some odes to childhood, to loved ones and loved times gone by, others that simply struck me. The ones that I marked appear to have some similarities, Wishes, Enchantment, Beneath the Holly Tree, My mind to me a kingdom is and Mr Nobody, all seem to refer to relationships or family. Some of the poems passed me by somewhat, though even at the time of reading I reflected that a second reading of the collection, perhaps with some read out loud, would be more beneficial, at least to me.

An interesting collection. It has inspired me to try some more poems to vary my daily prose diet.

This was book 19 in my #20BooksofSummer challenge.

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