Dónall Dempsey: The Fox, The Whale and The Wardrobe

The High Window

Donall Dempsey


The Fox, the Whale and the Wardrobe

In Dónall Dempsey’s most recent collection, The Fox, the Whale and the Wardrobe, published on 1st March 2023, he continues to explore themes of time and memory in poems that are playful, emotive, absurd, surreal, funny and moving. Mining the rich resources of his Irish childhood, he introduces us to an uncle whose tales to nine-year-old Dónall cause an aunt to scold the adult for ‘filling the boy’s head with nonsense’, and with a little girl who constantly surprises and delights us with her discovery of meanings in life we have all but forgotten. The sorrow of loss is here, too: long-term personal grief since his beloved sister died when he was still a child, as well as the more recent deaths of his parents and younger brother, and the memories, happy and sad, of people he has met at the…

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