Martial is alive and kicking in Brendan Kennelly's latter-day Dublin versions of the Spanish Roman poet. He is a satirist trying to define generosity, happiness and love, with scurrilous candour and piercing clarity, in brief punchy poems. But no matter how savage his attacks, he is always playful and compassionate. He is a sharp, visionary writer who knows the world about him and is in touch with the world within himself, at once bewildered, attentive and bitingly articulate. Martial Art is a book that packs a punch.
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