Ramsell describes O’Callaghan’s style as “an almost Shakespearean tendency to render reality not only by means of literary devices but in terms of those very tropes and conceits. Again and again in this his superbly reflexive fourth collection parts of the world are compared to linguistic concepts, to word-play and language-stuff, to punctuation, metaphor and translation.”
He directs attention to the poems “In Praise of Sprinklers,” “Comma,” “Wild Strawberries,” and “Swell,” and refers to “Translation” as “surely one of the collection’s standout achievements.”
The most impressive part of The Sun King for Ramsell however, is “The Pearl Works,” a series of rhyming couplets, each no more than 140 characters, that were originally published on Twitter once a week for a whole year. Out of the social media setting and into a book of poetry, these tweets “surely represents O’Callaghan’s finest hour to date.”
The American edition of this book will be out before Christmas!