Síofra McSherry is a prodigiously talented poet originally from Northern Ireland who now lives and works in Germany. She has had a modest number of poems appear in online outlets in the past. Recently however, English publisher The Emma Press brought out a chapbook or pamphlet by Ms McSherry entitled Requiem. I believe that this title warrants widespread notoriety and celebration.
Requiem is a commemorative elegy written by Ms McSherry’s to honour her mother who died of motor neurone disease (or ALS as it is known in Canada). Requiem is a highly developed piece of poetic writing that displays acceptance, but not resignation, in the face of mortality. By turns gentle and fierce, Requiem is an extended, compassionate meditation on death that is punctuated with moments of tenderness and rage. It presents as deft a treatment of its difficult subject as you will find anywhere.
To read my comprehensive critical assessment of this remarkable book — which appears in the English literary arts journal, London Grip — click here. And to see and hear a video recording of the talented actor and theatre director Donal O’Hanlon giving a spirited and masterful reading of the Benedictus section of Ms McSherry’s long poem, click on this link.