Damien B Donnelly’s Eat the Storms is published by Hedgehog Poetry, and it’s a felicitous pairing, as Donnelly frequently describes nature through vivid description with an artist’s judicious use of colour.
Donnelly’s work contains plenty of alliteration (as ever), bucolic imagery, an always evocative use of language, and a rich plethora of themes, from the profundity of concepts such as creation and immortality – perhaps lamenting that humanity is not reaching its full potential – to the delicate nature of both the self and of interpersonal relationships.
The poet paints on a vast canvas that explores and embraces an array of thematic material, regretfully tragic in places and elsewhere more triumphant, although the tone is never triumphalist.
It could be argued, for example, that Donnelly touches upon the heroic natures of both surrogacy and adoption in just a few lines of Rising Through the Rickety Reds and addresses them again, in Colour is Waiting. Poems elsewhere address the more complicated nature of adoption, a process whereby not all the participants can have an active say in the matter.
Other poems wonderfully explore both growth and failure in relationships, and the indeterminacy of interpreting the evolution of the poet-narrator’s character by an outside observer who was once closer to the subject. A poignant and melancholy sociological dualism pervades some of this work.
With beautiful descriptions throughout, Donnelly crafts an impressive collection that warrants repeat reading. You can get Eat the Storms here.