First edition, first printing. Signed by the author. Limited edition, with an additional presentation inscription to the author's sister Mary and her husband Gerald Cookson. No. 30 of 100 copies, each of which includes a manuscript poem in the author's hand. Hand bound at Museum Bookbindings, Dublin, in full tan leather, the front panel with an illustration of a Sri Lankan cloud nymph in blind. Marbled endpapers. With the marbled card, cloth edged presentation slipcase. A fine copy, the binding square and firm, the contents clean throughout. A lovely copy.

Inscribed by the author in blue ink to the first blank page, "To / Mary and Gerry / with much love / 26 November 1989". Also signed and numbered to the limitation page facing the copyright page, with, on the following blank recto page, a manuscript poem in two quatrains in the author's hand, headed 'Vijana Kasub, the Friar, wrote this' with, at the foot of the poem '(8th century)'. An outstanding association copy. Mary Cookson, the eldest of five Murphy siblings was one of only a few close friends and family members that remained really central to the poet's life. Their relationship is succinctly summarised in the printed dedication of 'The Kick: A Memoir of the Poet Richard Murphy' (Cork University Press, 2017), "to my beloved older sister, Mary Cookson whose lifelong kindness and generosity enabled me to write". Winner of the Poetry Book Society Translation Award, this limited edition of 'The Mirror Wall' was issued simultaneously with UK and US trade editions published by Bloodaxe Books and Wake Forest University Press respectively. The volume is named after a wall of polished plaster half way up the fortress of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. Painted on the rock above the wall are a series of "golden women" who seem to be dancing in the clouds. Twenty of these frescoes have survived since the end of the fifth century. The wall itself is inscribed with hundreds of songs relating to these nymphs, composed by nobles, merchants, travellers and Buddhist monks during the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries. Murphy's poems were inspired by these songs, some keeping close to the forms and meaning of their originals. More often they are free versions, elaborating particular images and ideas, bringing in modern voices or combining several songs.

Stock code: 25021


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MURPHY, Richard


Dublin: Wolfhound Press.


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