Barry Keane is, by choice, a truly migrant poet, born in Ireland, but living in Poland, renegotiating the categories of home and abroad, distance and nearness, familiarity and strangeness. A task he has been also undertaking in his exquisitely crafted poems, which look beyond the border to the country he left behind, but are equally responsive to the place he has become part of. This new place has been appropriated in the most accurate manner available to the poet: by acquiring its language and
... ng its language and by studying the art of this language, Polish literature. His poems, which "carry him away and take him home", are poetic palimpsests in which Irish cadences, memories, and landscapes have been overwritten with Polish images, names and narratives. From among the many traditions of Polish writing that Barry Keane has been attracted to, the closest to his poetic sensibility seems the poetry of the interwar period, and primarily of the Skamander group. It is to one of the leading Skamander poets that he dedicates his poem "Lechoń's Last Night". What he shares with them are qualities not foreign to readers of Irish verse: the classical clarity of vision, precise, direct diction, the concreteness of imagery, the measured pace of lines. His new poems, as well as his much praised translations from Polish, have become the synergic foci of an informed intercultural dialogue, unique literary rapprochements, making Barry Keane a voice to be listened to. (Jerzy Jarniewicz) "Running in Bielany forest"