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Conamara Blues: Poems Paperback – February 3, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John O'Donohue was awarded a Ph.D. in philosophical theology from the University of Tübingen in 1990. He is the author of several works, including a book on the philosophy of Hegel, Person als Vermittlung; two collections of poetry, Echoes of Memory and Conamara Blues; and two international bestsellers, Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes. He lectures and holds workshops in Europe and America, and is currently researching a book on the philosophical mysticism of Meister Eckhart. He lives in Ireland.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060957255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060957254
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JOHN O'DONOHUE authored several books, including, most recently, Beauty, and the international bestsellers Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes, as well as two collections of poetry, Echoes of Memory and Conamara Blues. He lived in Ireland and frequently traveled to the United States to give lectures and conduct workshops before he passed away on January 4, 2008.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By B.A. Brittingham on January 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
At first glance, John O'Donohue's poetry appears simple. That deception is largely due to its brevity and form. Yet it is complex with tiered symbolism. As is frequently the case with poetry, the reader may not "get it" first time through but these verses are worth a second, third, even fourth read. Some, like "Decorum" are so short as to approach the level of Celtic haiku.
"Conamara Blues" is divided into three parts. Since O'Donohue is a Catholic scholar, this may or may not be an intentional acknowledgment of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Family, etc. The middle portion bears a distinctly religious slant, though not unpleasantly so.
The first and final sections are more secular in tone. They touch on diverse topics: nature, the attitudes of foreign tourists seeking the "true" Ireland, the emotional discomfiture of meeting an old flame (" . . . let nothing slip/ From the invisible ruin/ We carry between us"), even death ("you can almost hear the depth/ Of white silence, rising to deny everything.") As befits Irish literature, there are occasional moody, melancholic notes, threaded like quicksilver through an otherwise optimistic flow of imagery.
Americans are unlikely to have encountered old European customs like using the wide wings of a slaughtered goose to sweep the floor around a wood-burning kitchen stove. We hear O'Donohue's sad perspective in looking past human practicality to see those wings no longer ". . . being folded around . . . Embracing the warmth/ And urgency of a beating heart/ . . . Never again to be disturbed/ Every year by the call/ Of the wild geese overhead".
Few of the 54 pieces take the shape of traditional, rhymed verse. If you are in search of that, I suggest the Hallmark section of your local store.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Judith Tripp on January 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Celtic spirituality distilled into a language so rich it makes you swoon. John O'Donohue has synthesized his formidable intellect, the depth of mature spiritual experience and his love of the nature of his homeland into poems of great beauty and poignancy.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Marni McGee on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
John O'Donahue wrote poetry with the grace and passion of a waterfall -- a grand IRISH waterfall. He was wonderfully Irish in the musicality of his work. His poems are marked by whimsy, humanity, and spiritual power, but they are readily accessible too. I was driving when I first heard a recording of him reading a selection of his poems. Sadly, it was just after his untimely death. (Everyone says "untimely," but he was still in his fifties when he died. What glorious poems are we missing?!) I had to pull over to recover, to steady up. When I got home, I immediately went online to search for his books of poetry. This is the best I've found so far.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ash Ronan on April 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The poems in this book are very prose like. You feel like there are a lot of simple observations from John and his surroundings. I had always wanted to meet him and walk with him in Conamara. He may be gone to the other side, but I'm sure he's still there in spirit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By manoop on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
John O'Donohue writes the most beautiful poetry. His works are great food for thought. Even if you're not Irish you can't help being carried away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lake on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a joy to read his words as they flow over the page. He has such depth as the span of topics will allow you to make that discrimination. I rally enjoy his poetry.
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