The Bone House
About the book…
Gary Allen is one of the most intriguing and interesting of the younger generation of Ulster poets. With an eye for the telling image and an ear closely tuned for the rhythms and tones of his Ballymena upbringing, Allen painfully explores in this collection both his and his chosen people's imaginative past.
And yet underlying Allen's unfussy truthfulness, the poet displays a compassion for the people who inhabit his poems. This is an Ulster Protestant world at once haunted by, but also irredeemably shot through with, the possibilities of liberation.
By turns deeply moving and excoriating, The Bone House shows Allen at the height of his abilities, charting and creating a landscape inextricably his won but also one familiar to the reader.
These are your father's hands
swift tattooed and smelling of rosewood
see how they swing in the light
two great hammers, Moses and Abraham
they throw you to the sky
a wicker basket, a lead bucket
only once, lest you think life is trivial
- from 'Stony Ground'