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Echoes of a River: Poems of New Orleans and Beyond / Gordon Walmsley

Echoes of a River: Poems of New Orleans and Beyond

By: Gordon Walmsley

€12.00 €9.00
A journey through layers is the progression Gordon Walmsley describes in this collection.  One of the layers is the home of his birth and of his childhood, New Orleans, itself a place of many layers and obscurities. But there are others.  There is the complexity of the drama of this world...      as though what transpires   &n...
ISBN 1 903392 37 3
Pub Date Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Cover Image Gordon Walmsley
Page Count 76
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A journey through layers is the progression Gordon Walmsley describes in this collection.  One of the layers is the home of his birth and of his childhood, New Orleans, itself a place of many layers and obscurities. But there are others.  There is the complexity of the drama of this world...

     as though what transpires
     were a play solely for my benefit,
     as though there were something 
     I was supposed to understand. 

A great storm brought New Orleans back to the writer, who has lived for many years in Europe. Brought him back, but did not keep him. For there are many layers to explore in this world.

Gordon Walmsley

Gordon Walmsley is from New Orleans but he has lived in Europe for most of his life. He now lives in Copenhagen where he has resided for many years. He is the author of seven books of poems and one poetically constucted novel. He translates from various languages, often for www.copenhagenreview.com, which he founded and continues to edit. He has degrees from Princeton University (Germany literature) and Tulane Univeristy (Law). 


Review:  Echoes of a River reviewed by Borbála Faragó for The Irish Times, Saturday 10th March, 2012

THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT and questions of identity ... feature in Gordon Walmsley’s Echoes of a River: Poems of New Orleans and Beyond. Walmsley, originally from New Orleans, revisits his birthplace after Hurricane Katrina to search for meaning amid the senseless devastation of the storm. In some poems the city and its waters are personified as the "yawning Louisiana girl" or "the beast sleeping heavily below", to drive home a sense of spiritualised interpretation of loss.

... Walmsley['s] "spirit of compassion and empathy" shines through the pages. The shorter echo poems that are placed like waves in the volume lend a visual interpretative layer that helps the collection in imparting more complex readings ("something can arise / from a wave that falls / among the sounding words").

The best poems in the book, however, are the ones that are not straightforward elegies for New Orleans, such as the sophisticated Things , which considers the frailty of human perception:

And there are so many ways of

understanding things. Let

us start with the making of a map.

Cartography. Start with

movement, panning a world we begin to see.

A map.

Borbála Faragó is a critic and the co-editor of Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland 

Other Titles from Gordon Walmsley

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