By Philip McDonagh

The Song the Oriole Sang

Second collection by Irish poet/diplomat, currently ambassador to Austria


Philosophically and geographically wide-ranging (as one might expect of a diplomat poet), this second collection by Philip McDonagh features poems inspired by his experiences in places as far afield as India and Finland, at the same time as it sees him find an earth and anchor for those experiences in the realm of family, about which he writes with great tenderness. An insightful guide through political complexities, McDonagh is also very much the lyric poet, remaining open to the unexpected moment of wonder.

“The governing tonality of this collection is restrained, distanced, the ‘voice’ has composed itself judiciously before utterance, and yet the undercurrents of affection, ironic frustration, and constant grief are unmistakable. .. I’m astounded that this important work — in print since 2003 — hasn’t received the kind of attention it richly deserves. Like Neruda, that other shy diplomat, it’s time for Philip McDonagh, already in his fifties, to be acclaimed.”
— James J McAuley, Poetry Ireland Review

ISBN 9781906614300 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 110 pp
May 2010

Additional information

Weight .15 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614300
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 110 pp
  • Published: : May 2010

About The Author


Philip McDonagh was born in Dublin in 1952 and attended schools in Dublin and Copenhagan, and university in Oxford. As a diplomat he has had postings throughout Europe and between 1994 and 1999 worked at the Irish Embassy in London where he helped to develop the Peace Process. Most recently he has been Irish Ambassador to India. In 1989 he was one of a group of five poets with introductory selections published as Dedalus Introductions and in 2003 published his first full-length collection with Dedalus, Carraroe in Saxony. Since then an expanded work, including this earlier book, has been published in India as Memoirs of an Ionian Diplomat. Philip McDonagh is currently Irish Ambassador to Austria.