‘As If By Magic: Selected Poems’, by Paula Meehan

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin at Dublin Review of Books:

A poem from Paula Meehan’s second collection, Pillow Talk (1994), is called “Autobiography”. Well, in some ways a Selected Poems is like an autobiography; it expresses a sense that the life lived to date, and the work done, have some weight and perhaps some unity. Also, all autobiographies are provisional, and a Selected does not have the terminal stamp of a Collected Poems. There may yet be – one hopes there will be – many surprises in store. But there are differences: the poems included in Paula Meehan’s Selected Poems do not tell the writer’s chronological story. Rather, many of them are revisitings of phases or moments in the poet’s life, from the varying perspectives of later days. They explore those enlightening moments, when new meanings emerge from well-remembered encounters, that may only come when there is a degree of distance, for example when the adult can see what the adults in her own earlier life were about, and divine the depths of their emotions.

more here.