On Poetry

It is as a poet of European temperament, and stature, that O’Driscoll demands to be judged. His terrain is, in effect, without borders: mordant, open, sharp, generous, and sad.
– George Szirtes, The Guardian

It’s always a pleasure to read a volume that you can commend unequivocally to anyone with a heart and a mind. O’Driscoll’s crisp, unobtrusively musical precision gets to the heart of so many subjects, large and small…
– Robert Potts, The Guardian

O’Driscoll’s mind…ruminates on experience with alacrity, humility, and an unwillingness to pontificate. His talent – which could equally grace a novel – should stand the test of time.
– Paul Groves, Poetry Review

O’Driscoll is still younger than some more feted Irish poets; at his best he is already their equal.
– Alan Brownjohn, The Sunday Times

…one of the most interesting poets now writing in English. O’Driscoll’s poetry has the rare virtue of making us feel that most other poets are forcing things a little, striving for effect. He writes directly, naturally, about the emotions that are closest to us and, for that very reason, go unobserved: how we actually feel about work and possessions and aging.
– Adam Kirsch, Slate

O’Driscoll is a real poet: his lines stay with you, and crop up unbidden in your mind as you go about your day.
– Clíodhna Carney, Poetry Ireland Review

It takes a special genius to see the real and important lurking in the mundanely routine – O’Driscoll, the Irish Larkin, does. This most astute of poets juxtaposes the soul of the artist with the exactness of the anthropologist; the result is work of meditative intelligence, humour and forgiving humanity.
– Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

O’Driscoll is a quietly exciting, subtly intelligent poet; and his book the most consistently entertaining Selected I have read for a long time.
– Grevel Lindop, Poetry London

O’Driscoll is a recording angel of life’s sacred banalities. He does this without censure or snobbery, and without hiding behind a mask of irony. It’s difficult to think of another poet who pulls off quite the same trick. New and Selected Poems is a significant achievement.
– Michael Murphy, Poetry Review

Dennis O’Driscoll’s mock-epic poem, ‘The Bottom Line’…is among the great, great poems of our age, perfectly pitched and richly cinematic, an amalgam of Ulysses and The Waste Land, The Office and American Beauty.
– Thomas Lynch, The Irish Times

Dennis O’Driscoll has produced an extraordinary body of work… Some of his poems have already achieved the status of classics.
– Richard Tillinghast, Poetry Ireland Review

There isn’t a dud poem in this book [Reality Check]. They all afford pleasure from the way we experience the language as playfully alive. They make us see the world which we tend to take for granted differently – both its woes and joys – sometimes highly entertainingly, sometimes with profound gravitas.
– Matt Simpson, Stride

A poet of… immense gifts.
– John Burnside, The Irish Times

A severe, exact observer and craftsman, he keeps a light touch because he so readily identifies with his subjects’ disquiet, with our fundamental insecurity. The pleasures of his work are strongly salted, and seem more addictive for that.
Robert Gray, The Australian