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Shadow of the Owl Reviews

Shadow of the Owl by Matthew Sweeney

Shadow of the Owl

Matthew Sweeney

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Publication date: 22 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9781780375427

Matthew Sweeney's final collection brings together poems written during a year of debilitating illness before his death from Motor Neuron Disease in 2018. All his verve and spiky humour are here, following, as always, unnerving dream logic. But the dream is now a nightmare and the catastrophe, impending in all his earlier poems, has come to pass.

5 stars out of 5
Fred Johnston
7 Dec 2020

"[a] brave and affirming collection"

. The title of the collection is printed on the cover in an almost ghostly blue against black, the words virtually disappearing as a result. Was it planned? The cover photo of a studious owl is by Dutch photographer Arno Van Zon, a renowned snapper of birds and small insects. The bird looks disdainfully to one side. I really do regret not having had a good chat with Matthew Sweeney when I had the chance. To some extent, this brave and affirming collection makes up for it.