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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

the loneliness of the sasquatch

Amanda Bell
Publisher
Alba Publishing
Price
€12
ISBN
978-1912773060

REVIEW

Like many good poets, Amanda Bell is exact in her language but she is also a poet with a particular touch and feeling for words which makes her work distinctive and entirely her own. Her latest book, the loneliness of the sasquatch, is a translation of Gabriel Rosenstock’s Sasquatch sequence. Rosenstock refers to it as a transcreation, acknowledging that Bell brings her own touch and aesthetic to her translations. Throughout these poems, the female sasquatch, from somewhere deep in the woods, responds and engages with the natural world around her, a natural world facing disaster. Her thoughts have a sensitive melancholy to them which engages and somehow heartens the reader.

Are they of the moon, these geese?
    is that where they return to?
      she longs to fly with them

Their harsh calls leave a hollow in her heart:
                     come night,
                     come and fill it

In her previous book, First the Feathers, the sureness of touch is also evident but human affairs are not placed in the same warm glow as the doings and reflections of the sasquatch. In her poem “Tuam”, for example, there is something sharper than the deep sadness which eases through the loneliness of the sasquatch.

                      Once more we are called upon
to lay our wafers on the body politic,

take them one by one,
place them on our tongues
and absorb the failings of the state,
digest the blind-eyes turned.

All this we do in silence,
and remembrance of you.

 

Brendan Lowe