Every Night is Full of Stars by Aoibhín Garrihy

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Every Night is Full of Stars

By Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Every Night is Full of Stars by Aoibhín Garrihy

Every Night is Full of Stars is described as a ‘beautiful poetry anthology’ personally selected by Aoibhín Garrihy and published with Eriu (Bonnier imprint). When Aoibhín Garrihy was curating this anthology she selected poems that she herself truly loves and finds peace with.

“The poems on these pages are the ones I revisit time and time again, the ones I regularly turn to for solace, hope, optimism, comfort and, yet again, sustenance. I promise the lines on these pages will act as a balm for the soul. Keep them close.”

I admittedly do not have the same passion for poetry but I was very much taken by this little collection as I unexpectedly connected immediately with its contents. With almost seventy poems, I found myself on occasion with a few tears rolling down my face as the message hit home strong and fast. Rumi’s ‘Guest House’, Jan Brierton’s ‘Sound Body’ and Steve Denehan’s ‘Stairs’ all stopped me in my tracks for their simplicity yet depth in meaning.

As in every anthology there will be some that will connect more with any reader than others but what I particularly loved about this selection is its ability to bring poetry into the lives of folk like me who would not normally gravitate toward it.

There are two poems by Phyllis McCormack that are very powerful and will resonate with most, entitled ‘Crabbit Old Woman’ and ‘A Nurse’s Reply’. That feeling of invisibility by an elderly lady is reflected in ‘Crabbit Old Woman’ as the decades that pass are looked back on until she says ‘but inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells’. The woman wants to be seen, to be noticed, to be remembered for the person she once was and, inside, still is. In ‘A Nurse’s Reply’, the nurse explains how busy they all are yet ‘when the time has arrived for you to depart, you leave us behind with an ache in our heart’. Even writing these words down here has caught my breath, as these two poems are extremely affecting, weighted with nostalgia and longing.

With a beautifully designed cover that speaks of cosy winter evenings, Aoibhín Garrihy gives a personal introduction to every poem and its significance in her life. This adds a layer of authenticity to the collection, which also includes a piece of work by the author (Every Night is Full of Stars) and her father Eugene (Maturing Love).

Every Night is Full of StarsEvery Night is Full of Stars is a gem of a collection, one that really does deserve a place on every bedside locker. Dipping into these poems before sleep is like a reset before the following day. Littered with poignant reflections and contemplative pieces, Every Night is Full of Stars is a thoughtfully curated anthology and a gorgeous introduction to poetry for anyone, like me, who struggles with it a little.

(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Order your copy online here.

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