Song of Duiske
In south Kilkenny, where Duiske stream joins the river Barrow at Graiguenamanagh, lies one of Ireland’s many Norman-Cistercian abbeys. Song of Duiske is a novella set amongst this monastic community in the year 1304, a century after the abbey’s foundation. It evokes the textures and rhythms of a medieval religious settlement, its peaceful routines as well as occasional trials, and celebrates with quiet lyricism the seasons and their solaces, ‘the open sky, the fields and the woods’.
‘A little bouquet of beauty … every page throws up a gem’ – Vincent Lawrence, Sunday Press
‘Vision-like in its effect, to be savoured rather than gulped … a small classic of Irish literature’ – Seán Dunne, The Cork Examiner
‘A tiny masterpiece … like a miniature painting. If I were forced to live on a desert island, the little book I would want with me would be Song of Duiske‘ – Pat Donlon, RTE’s ‘First Edition’
JOHN A. RYAN is a retired teacher. In 1975 he won a Hennessy New Irish Writing Award.
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