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Nigel Wheale

Nigel Wheale’s selection of poems, Phrasing the Light, is published by the Many Press.

MacSweeney, Kinsella and Harrison

Nigel Wheale, 1 October 1998

A tear caught in a mussel shell turns to pearl, the Ancients believed. Barry MacSweeney’s The Book of Demons begins among the living with ‘Pearl’, a 22-poem sequence evoking a childhood love between the poet-persona and his sweetheart, the daughter of a poverty-stricken smallholding family from the ‘rain-soaked’ ‘raw-bone’ laws – the high moors around Allen-heads in Northumberland. They are two poor kids growing up in the late Fifties. She wears a ‘Co-op coat’; the boy-poet’s heart is’‘

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