Yoke and Arrows (2014)

Yoke and Arrows is my second full collection, and is published by Smokestack Press.  It is a sequence of poems in three acts, focusing on the city of Granada in the early weeks of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and culminating in the murder of Federico Garcia Lorca.  It draws from other periods in the city’s history, including the centuries of Arabic rule, paralleling acts of atrocity and intolerance across cultures.  In spite of such dark subjects, however, the aesthetics of the collection are informed by the beauty and vigour of Andalucía, and by Lorca’s commitment to the rich symbolism of its landscape and the romantic expression of its culture.

Erratum: unfortunately, a typo on the cover of this collection occurred during production and wasn’t spotted until a very late stage.  The text ‘over twenty thousand Granadinos were killed’ should read ‘several thousand’: it is estimated that the figure was something over five thousand.


A mature tour de force – Damian Smyth

Yoke and Arrows is available from Smokestack Books.


Song for Luis Rosales

When we are the old dead
we will sit in a boat on the river
at midnight, singing.

We will make a candle
with the yellow moon,
a heart with a guitar

and we will sing up a wind
to make the olives’ silver leaves
crackle and the orange flowers

fall like snow in the squares.
We will sail to the sea,
all the towns like bonfires

and in your eyes the night
of Andalucía with all its stars.

from Yoke and Arrows (Smokestack Books 2014)


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