For a long time the lofty grandeur and imposing presence of Mount Errigal in Co Donegal has charmed painters, photographers and filmmakers. This great iconic peak of the North West has also been over half a century the focal point of much of Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s acclaimed poetry in the Irish language. He is the celebrant of its mysteries, the archivist of its seasons, the poet of its beauty.
In Errigal: Sacred Mountain, Cathal O’Searcaigh (one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets) goes on a pilgrim path around Errigal and (in the active meditation of walking) summons up the spirit of this revered mountain, the largest in Ireland. In his “Passages of Light” as he calls them, we get a vivid and an insightful word-journey around a mountain that has shaped the thinking of one of the most eminent poets in the Irish language.
Eloquently written, this book is a sure-footed mix of memoir, acute observation, wry humour and wisdom. It includes an engaging Preface by Irish American writer, Patrick Breslin; a scholarly Afterword by renowned historian and archaeologist Brian Lacey; and translations of Ó Searcaigh’s poems by some of Ireland’s most outstanding poets (Seamus Heaney, Paddy Bushe, Thomas McCarthy and Gabriel Rosenstock).
This rare and lovely book is guaranteed to be a rewarding read and an uplift to the spirit. It is also a marvellous addition to the genre of mountain writing, and likely to sell very well all over Ireland, including of course the West.