It’s funny when you join a Writer’s Circle, people who you have known for only a short while become like friends you have known all your life. I think it’s because one shares the common passion of writing. Writers freely share feelings, emotions, successes and rejections. Lifetime experiences are also laid bare between the lines of the page.
The Writer’s Circle I have been part of for the past few years is a great source of inspiration and encouragement to me. A few weeks ago Niall O’Connor’s poetry collection Change in the Wind was published. I now see the great joy of achievement, and feel the pressure (which is good) to finish my own marathon piece of writing.
I wanted to write a review of Niall’s Change in the Wind, and that made me question and wonder if you can review the work of a friend. Can you approach a collection of poetry with an unbiased, critical eye?
What I discovered is that sometimes knowing the poet/writer, their trials and tribulation, joys and delights in bringing a collection to life makes the enjoyment even better. I had a sense of “Wow! You did it, and you did it wonderfully well.”
Of course I only know the poet for three years. What I read in the collection is the strong voice of the poet and the journey from youth, young man, to the practised poet of today.
If you have never visited Dublin or if you are not familiar with the much loved and ancient crossing point, O’Connor’s poem Halfpenny Bridge paints a picture, gives a history, that many Dubliners themselves do not know.
Halfpenny Bridge is simply beautiful . . .
The royal barge
The chieftains byre
Bananas from Bolivia,
They all have passed
Beneath this throne
This crown of Anna Livia
His poem Important Historical Events, records familiar episodes in history, but the unveiling in the final lines, is what makes the poem superb.
And a bee dips into a flower
So the last seed
Can be born.
The title poem Change in the Wind is a beautiful narrative of youth and survival, intense, and filled with expectation and tension. A personal tale of two brothers caught out at sea in a boat and the change in the wind that has the power to change destinies. In this first collection O’Connor is a compelling commentator on many aspects of life.
Copies of Change in the Wind can be obtained by contacting Niall O’Connor at