Return to Segais is a story of human experience and the exploration of unconscious depths through mythology, exemplified by the life cycle of the salmon, a singularly remarkable creature which is able to survive in fresh water as well as salt water. Having been spawned in the breeding pools of the upper reaches of the River Boyne, represented in myth by the Well of Segais, the salmon eventually finds its way to the sea, and the ocean, before ultimately returning to the exact location of its birth, where, in its final act, it spawns the next generation.
The journey of the salmon seems an apt metaphor for the experience of human life. The injunction at Segais, before the smolt leaves the ‘nest’, is to go and find the ocean, and in finding the ocean, to find something of itself that is unattainable except in rarefied circumstances.
In Return to Segais, Bradán Feasa, the Salmon of Knowledge, and Amergin, and Bóinn, and Dagda, and Manannán, and Oengus, and Ériu, and others, are summoned to take us to those depths, and perhaps beyond.
The truth is that there is no vastness greater than the deep and yawning chasm of our own innocence, our own unknowing. But it is surely a great joy to attempt to explore – through Irish myth – that vast boundlessness of the human spirit.
"Somewhere in this rock pool is the very essence of life... Murphy’s fascination with the mythology and ancient history of the Boyne Valley combined with his love of words shines through on every page, like the sun reflecting off the river itself, it illuminates more than just the surface of the water." — Drogheda Life
"Anthony's poetic book is a well of profundity" — Drogheda Independent.
"A powerful piece of writing. A mix of lyrical prose with evocative insights, all threaded together into an alluring whole that makes one grasp complex ideas and sensibilities that would otherwise seem impossible to communicate." – Manchán Magan, writer and broadcaster.
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