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book cover of 

Picking Brambles

Picking Brambles

A collection of poems by

Women and Brambles
Chris McKinnell
Des Dillon's first collection, Picking Brambles (Luath Press PBK 6.99), begins with the title poem, and straight away you get the sense of a refreshing, individual style. His words are indeed like brambles - big and succulent, whether fruity or beefy. There is a certain downbeat mood too, a weight, like the words have a fist inside them (Dillon was once into kick-boxing and had a friend who was a professional boxer). You feel the heaviness in lines like 'sunshine wilting / on late September shoulders.' Dillon's exuberance is in his words rather than his subjects. Perhaps that is something to do with the geography of the place he's coming from, where, he says 'Nothing has changed these years gone by. / Only the dogs are different.'
Cucuruzzu marks the beginning of an altogether different, possibly more remarkable, sequence of poems set around this small Italian town. The language slows down, becomes quiet, and now matches both subject and underlying mood. It is as if Dillon has chilled out and immersed himself in an explicitly spiritual geography. His introspection is beautifully encompassed in a poem entitled The Sorrow of The Glory: 'I turn and looking back - oh / how many candles have I lit / from the one solitary light.'
As well as poetry, Dillon has also written short stories, novels and dramas for radio, TV, stage and film, yet he considers this collection to be the pinnacle of his writing career. It is to hoped this does not prove to be so, for he is surely set to become one of our most powerful poetic voices.

Used availability for Des Dillon's Picking Brambles

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Paperback Editions

February 2003 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Picking Brambles
Author(s): Des Dillon
ISBN: 1-84282-021-4 / 978-1-84282-021-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Luath Press Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

December 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Author(s): Des Dillon
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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