> Poems from New and Selected Poems

> Poem of the Week

After a lifetime of reading poetry and marking the poems I like in poetry collections (though only lightly and only with a pencil), it eventually occurred to me that many of these poems had something in common – they were all expressions of delight and zest, delight in solitude, love, people, activities, places, things, nature, cities or just free-floating exhilaration. These are the poems I keep going back to, reading one every now and then for a quick boost, or, rather, not so much reading as snorting.

Eventually I collected these into a personal anthology and will make them available one at a time as Poem of the Week.

So if you enjoy getting high come and snort a few lines with me.



True Life Love Stories, Blackstaff Press 1976

Deliberate, glaring, but also vivacious and lively … Foley has candour, verve, mischief and tastelessness. His verse drives colloquially forward. Few poets alive are up to this sort of impertinence.
— Douglas Dunn, Encounter

The GO Situation, Blackstaff Press 1982

Pungent, witty, perceptive poems about the dreams and dilemmas of lower-middle-class males ... like Larkin, only sharper, funnier.
— Anthony Cronin, The Irish Times

The Irish Frog, Ulsterman Publications 1978

The Irish Frog is a series of adaptations from the French of Laforgue, Rimbaud and Corbière. They are clearly based on the French but Foley has transformed them into his own. Those who have read … True Life Love Stories will recognise the style – a witty clash between an elevated poetic tone and idiomatic naturalism. You either like this sort of stuff or you loathe it. I love it, and The Irish Frog, because of its consistency of origin, tone and quality, is particularly pleasing.
— Andrew Savage, Northern Lights

Insomnia in the Afternoon, Blackstaff Press 1994 

In this substantial book his real talent explodes, taking on the long line, informing it with a huge freight of modern bric-à-brac and suddenly allowing himself to use the rhetoric and symbolism hitherto self-denied, at once more playful and more serious. There is a boldness and confidence in his new style, a willingness to play with Yeatsian rhetorical excess, with Japanese compression, with French symbolism, with American expansion, while hanging on to his very personal vision. Accomplishment, accomplishment!
— James Simmons, Gown

Autumn Beguiles the Fatalist, Blackstaff Press 2006

Michael Foley’s poems marry irresistible narrative with the sort of irreverent exuberance that carries all before it … and in the final section, in which Foley confronts the age-old poetic subject of mortality, wit fuses with a melancholy theme to produce a memorable series of poems, at once urgent and uplifting, that demand to be reread.
— Sarah Crown, The Guardian

New and Selected Poems, Blackstaff Press 2011

a marvelous book … engaging and challenging. Close observation, high vocabulary, acerbic humour … and a strong sense of the absurd are Foley’s hallmarks.
— Iggy McGovern, Poetry Ireland Review