The Fox the Whale and the Wardrobe by Dónall Dempsey (Dempsey & Windle)

Tears in the Fence

An intriguing title leads the reader into a kaleidoscopic and scintillating poetry collection by Dónall Dempsey. There is a great variety of wit and humour in these poems. ‘My Molecules are Revolting’ uses dialogue as a device to illustrate the repartee between the Universe and a couple of molecules that currently inhabit the narrator’s body while they wait for ‘the Big Bang/of Death’ and the chance of belonging to a more interesting formation in the future.

An amusing concept but it is always Death that hovers in the background. In the title poem there is the nightmarish texture of an aunt’s fox-fur stole which has ‘beady eyes alive with death.’ Every item of clothing in the dark wardrobe is ‘rotten now/eaten by time.’ Everything once belonging to loved ones is dead.‘I cry for the death of summer,’ says the narrator. ‘I cry for the death of them all.’

Concern for…

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