Out of the Mailbag, Comes Songs & Stories: This Will Be, by Terry Boyle

Out of the Mailbag Byline

Out of the Mailbag, Comes Songs & Stories: This Will Be
By Terry Boyle 2022. 45 poems, 64 Pages.
Review By John O’Brien, Jr.

Terry Boyle has long been one of my favorite columnists, not just for iIrish, but for any publication. He has been there, through The Troubles and post, the faith, growing up in Derry and more. His perspective of trial by fire, and choosing the peaceful alternative when offered choices, inspires me.  His real facts educate me.

His new book, This Will Be, has just released.  You can get it anywhere; I went online to Amazon, and it arrived less than a week later. Terry’s perspective on this book and writing it, is in his own column, Terry from Derry,is on page xx.  Always a great column, and well worth the truth and the insight every month, and, if you, like me, get the book. 

“… There are no easy answers in this work to our daily fears and struggles. If there is any truth to be found in this collection it is that while we can be self-destructive, we’re more than simple lemmings looking for the nearest cliff,” says Terry, in his back cover notes.

“I’ve been writing a lot since the pandemic forced me to narrow down my world. Poetry as an art form has always been a favourite medium of mine. 

“Throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate years, I’ve read and enjoyed some of the finest poets. Poetry can elevate our thoughts, bring comfort to our souls, and bring beauty to an otherwise stressful existence.

“I’ve always been attracted to language, and in this collection of poems, my aim has been to capture my feelings and thoughts in a changing world. The flavour of some of the poems, if not most, is spiritual in nature without trying to sound preachy. I believe in the uncertainty of faith.”

Terry’s poems blend thought and action, perhaps taking responsibility for the result, as he centers to, and on, the desire to seek and be the light out of the darkness, for himself, certainly, but also for others in the same quest. Speaking to the reader, to God, to himself. “Dreaming it up” … “in search of something more.”

Introspective, wishful and wistful, full of hope, and weariness, and questions of it all, of not having overcome the wishes of the past tease and test throughout This Will Be.

Things at our core and other metaphors center around religion – not the rigid formal one, but the spiritual, self-improvement one in the desire to make this world a better one, for our having been here.

“… if you are looking for the truth
It’s inside of you
These words point you back to yourself
The start and end of your journey happens right here.”

“I saw myself clearly that day and, for once, didn’t turn away.”

I highly recommend This Will Be as a way to search yourself, but most of all, to realize others struggle as we do, and suffer, as we do, yet continue to seek

“A voice in the wilderness

Crying out for … “
what we need.


Back cover of There will Be

Terry Boyle is a retired lecturer in Irish and British literature. He has taught literature at the University of Ulster in Derry, Northern Ireland, and Loyola University at Chicago. In 2011, his play, “Oh What a Bloody Good Friday!” reached the semi-finals of the Eugene O’Neill competition. Following this success, he has had a number of plays performed in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio. In 2021, his poem, “A New Economy” was included in “The Best of New British and Irish Poets 2019-2021 and some of his poems have been published in Irish American News and in iIrish newsmagazine. He has been a columnist for iIrish since 2010.

I first met Terry in Chicago at a book signing. He was a columnist then for Chicago’s Irish American News. He also started writing with us at iIrish, and though he has tried to escape over the years, I have been able to keep him writing with us. iIrish, and all the Irish community is better, for Terry’s many contributions. He and his partner Larry have retired to California, but Thank God, he still keeps on working, writing, creating. 

You can hear some of This Will Be poems on YouTube: ( This Will Be is available from the publishers WIPF and Stock and from Amazon. 

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