Bar Talk is Irish poet Nessa O'Mahony's first poetry collection, originally published in 1999.
Poet Katie Donovan reviewed:
"Nessa O'Mahony's debut collection dwells in the fraught and many faceted field of relationships: affections, loves and hurts. A wry, unself-pitying tone pervades. The mood is self-aware rather than dramatic or sentimental: this is the voice of a survivor. She sits at the bar and watches the lives of others - lovers, friends, family - while holding her own joys and sorrows in perspective. This urbane voice weaves deeper resonances through the memories and anecdotes it recounts."
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Dublin in the rare ould times
Bar Talk Beyond the Bar...
I enjoyed the varied subject matter covered in the poems - things that happened in sports events, bars, home life, relationships. I almost felt that the poems could have been grouped according to the topics to which they were relating.
I thought the musical transition pieces in-between the poems worked very well - they let me know that there was a change in poem without being intrusive.
I preferred the poems that took place in the bars or the ones concerning sports (in actual terms and in metaphorical ones!) as these are two areas of my life to which I relate the most.
I did not really have an emotional reaction to this book - it may have been due to having the poetry read to me - I usually find that if I am reading the poem myself, then I will (sometimes) connect with it emotionally.
I really enjoyed most of the collection, but I thought that, at times, the readings were a bit stilted and had almost a self-conscious awareness that the author was reading 'poetry' - I think I would have liked the readings to be a bit lighter and have a bit more flow to them.