John McAuliffe reviews Insistence alongside work by Martina Evans and Paula Meehan in today’s Irish Times. He writes:
“Insistence includes a remarkable long sequence, Alphabet, which derives its unusual poetic form from the Danish poet Inger Christensen’s alphabetical, accumulating sequence (also named Alphabet). Darcy’s sequence oscillates between doomy prognostication (“dust storms / and dust events; drone deaths and dental dams and / online dating sites and death squads”) and scattered consolations (“apricot trees insist; apricot trees insist”).
Into this world comes the poet’s pregnancy, and the birth and growth of her child, and anxious imaginings of his future, not as a land of plenty but a land of scarcity, so that by section 11
kin insists, kin insists;
your pink cheek tucked up
with mine, not thinking
of solitude or extinction,
of the whale in your book,
not thinking of the pink krill
with intricate eyes; not thinking
of kelp forking over rocks,
their thick holdfasts, fat
kelp picked for iodine
One of the ironies of this anxiety about scarcity is Alphabet’s wonderful momentum, the way that one thing always leads to another in this capable, capacious sequence.”
You can read the full review here.