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Ó Charraig Aonair go Droichead Dóinnneach


John K. Cotter was born on Cape Clear Island, County Cork in 1878 and died at Blackwater Bridge near Kenmare Kerry in 1968. He spent roughly half of his ninety years of life in each of those two places. The displacement of the move with his family in 1920 to Blackwater Bridge would seem to have been the whetstone for much of his poetry. From that time on, his boyhood island becomes an interior landscape that he visits again and again in memory. He is at his best when he writes of the sea, the fishing and the boats. In The Sarah Gale (29), Memories of Tráigh Chiaráin (14) and The Star of the Sea (30), he navigates in memory the well-loved and familiar territory of his vigorous youthful days as a fisherman, peppering his lines with terms and expressions of sailing and fishing, with the ease of the expert.


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