The Chase of a Shadow is a narrative poem written by Irish-American Denis M. Cronin in 1898. It tells the story of Fergus, a young, Irish aristocrat from The Sheep’s Head Peninsula (S.W. County Cork) who is separated from his family, his country and his true love by Ireland’s 1798 Rebellion.
Which side was Fergus on, Irish Rebel or English Rule? Are Fergus and his true love reunited in the end or is this story a tragedy? Read and find out!
The Chase of a Shadow will be available for sale on Amazon.com in June 2013, and on all the major e-readers soon after. So keep checking!
I must thank Southampton, NY artist Jeff Muhs–of jeffmuhsstudio.com–for the above, perfect illustration. It is a beautiful rendering of a classic Irish hearth just like the one which can still be seen in the house Denis Cronin grew up in. It is the same illustration which appeared on the first printing of The Chase of a Shadow in 1998; and, as nothing could top it, the image is on the cover of the 2013 edition and e-book as well.
My thanks also go to Brendan Kennelly, a renowned Irish poet, author, and media personality, who took the time to meet with me and to then read Denis Cronin’s narrative poem. He had the following praise, which I now quote, to offer in response:
“In The Chase of a Shadow Denis M. Cronin shows that he is a gifted storyteller in verse. He has a strong dramatic sense, he is able to move the narrative along with vigour and skill, and his intrinsic musicality is an unfailing pleasure. This is clear, candid writing from another age, but its charm and energy will appeal to many contemporary readers. Jenny Wallace Warsen is to be thanked and congratulated for making this unusual poem available to us all.”
The narrative poem The Chase of a Shadow can be read by choosing the “Read The Narrative Poem” tab in the above or below site menu. Included in that section is Denis Cronin’s own final preface (1919), followed by the four cantos of the poem begun in 1888 and completed by or before 1898.
Denis Cronin final preface, written circa 1919, mentions the history behind the poem’s story and also Cronin’s own frustration at failing to have The Chase of a Shadow published on time in 1898 or ever.
For those interested in psychiatry and in particular the phenomenon of voice hearing, you will find in The Chase of a Shadow hints that the poem’s struggling hero was “a voice hearer” (a.k.a. clairaudient). Was the author, Denis Cronin, trying to hide clues that he was a voice hearer too? Was he trying to explain what voice hearing really is–real spiritual contact rather than mere hallucination? Read the epic poem for yourself and decide. And read the section of this website titled Mentions of Mental Illness to see those many lines in The Chase of a Shadow which hint at, and in some cases outright describe, mental illness and voice hearing.
My belief? My great-grandfather, Denis M. Cronin, who was legally documented as suffering from bipolar disorder, was also, like me too, a voice hearer who transferred his own experience with, and views about, mental illness and voice hearing to Fergus, the main character in his narrative poem, The Chase of a Shadow. Read the section on this website titled Mentions of Mental Illness to decide if I am correct. But first…
On behalf of Denis Cronin’s descendants, I thank you for reading our great-grandfather’s work. Now my great- grandfather’s dreams of success as a writer will be satisfied, even if posthumously so. Jenny W., Southampton, New York, USA