Death & Life matter to people who read poetry

A new poetry collection by Paul O’Mahony will be out in time for Xmas.

(Big secret) He has a publisher.

I discovered Paul has a problem he hasn’t solved.

He’s composed the poems.

He’s even compiled a short-list of poems, from which he’ll select no more than 40 (next week).

The trouble is he doesn’t have a title – and “Selected Works” won’t do.

I asked Paul What’s in a title?”

“A theme – and an invitation. The theme determines which poems make it into the book – and how the poems are clustered.”

“For example?”

“‘Rage’ by my friend Patrick Stack [published by Revival Press] suggests you’re offered pretty strong emotions in every poem. But the title doesn’t reveal the poems are about survival of darkness within.

Rage could be about 

the loss of friends and would-be lovers

madness & beauty

terrorism

or abuse

or something.

The poet used the title to help him decide the order of the poems.”

I asked Paul

 “How is the title an invitation?”

“Only certain people are invited to the book. Not everyone’s invited by ‘Rage’ – the blurb on the back puts many people off. That way the book appeals to a select group of people who don’t fear to buy & read ‘Rage’ – and welcome ‘Rage’ into life.”

 I couldn’t resist asking the obvious question  What’s the name of your next poetry book?”

“That’s the death and life of me.  I can’t decide.  I’m stuck in mixed feelings. It better be better than the last one.”

“Oh… What was the name of your last book?

“Irish Epic Poem in 33 Cantos – wasn’t that a stupid title? Thank goodness my mother bought so many copies.”

I didn’t believe him, couldn’t solve his problem, left him looking blank and wondered which book I’d read next –  ‘Rage’ or ‘Irish Epic Poem’?

If you have any suggestions for Paul, I’m sure he’d gift you a copy if the book sells well.

5 thoughts on “Death & Life matter to people who read poetry

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