If all the world and love were young



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Memories of going 'through the looking-glass' into the land of video games are some of the most evocative of all childhood. In these poems we are rushed back to years spent playing 'Super Mario World,' a place where people are small and flowers are large, a place of treacherous labyrinths and heart-stopping leaps of faith, where the materiality, wonder and peril of that world bleeds into our own as the young player bravely travels with his mother on the journey of her life-ending illness. Drawing on traditions of elegy and pastoral, this is a daring, moving and lyrically beautiful exploration of memory, grief and the unreal.



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What the critics say

This is an extraordinary, moving collection of poems whose dense, constrained forms are the forms the intellect takes when it is coping; the self takes when it can, as it must; when the subject envelopes. This book is as rich + sustaining, as memorable + inimitable as is the loved one's voice. You will follow it across the Causeway, into the beached whale in Donegal, into the pixelated hyacinths and the heavy rain. With the munificent vocabulary of Alan Gillis and the gut-punched wisdom of Anne Sexton and Denise Riley, the speaker claims: 'I tried to make a monument from the emptiness of the house.' Sexton has made a monument. Readers: crowd around it. Caoilinn Hughes Every poem in this book is a marvel. Taken all together they make up a work of almost miraculous depth and beauty Sally Rooney