It is the Dublin the romantics don’t talk about‘ – Niall McGuirk on Pat Ingoldbsy’s Pawmarks On My Poems

Hanging In
Sometimes the effects of polio
bury me in a pit of exhaustion
every ounce of me is crushed
and so I sleep and sleep
And somehow, wondrously,
inside the heavy laden lump,
a little peom begins to stir
and polio is meeting its match.

And so to sum up Pat Ingoldsby. Much like your favourite indie band, Pat has been hanging around for years writing and publishing his own books on his own terms and then selling them on his streets. Dublin’s streets. It is these streets that many of his poems tell stories of. It is the Dublin the romantics don’t talk about. It is not just the people in the city centre, but also in Howth where Pat spends much of the summer months.

We hear about the seagulls and the Irish sea, and tales of his own youth. His books are almost diary like: we hear of his surprise 70th birthday party, and of days when sales aren’t going too well, but there’s always hope around the corner.

In a slight departure to previous books Pat tells us a story of when as a young boy he wanted to play soccer with his peers on the road. Like all young boys he had dreams of playing for his country but being picked on these road games was its equivalent. Pat is the perfect representative for the underdog. He didn’t let the inability to use his left arm prevent him from being a goalkeeper and More Than Anything Else is a story that will find echoes of peoples’ lives in many different fashions as they try to be the best they can.

I really wish I could make you buy this book. It’s the perfect present for anyone at any stage.

As always, excellent.

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