His research entailed much travel between the libraries of Europe and he undertook most of it on foot with his wife and daughter, and then, after the death of his wife, with only his daughter. These few pages on Henry are an exception because his discovery was so recent.
Though he was a civic-minded patriot, healthily critical of the British Empire, he did not care in the least about the emergent Irish nation, and his poems present a world more various and vivid than Moore, Callanan, Mangan, 30 The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry Ferguson or Allingham could ever have imagined. For that reason, standard accounts have omitted him. Oberkellner With printed list of questions in his hand: My name and age and birthplace and religion, Trade or profession, wherefore I had come, How long to stay, whither next bound, and so forth; All at my peril to be truly answered, And upon each a sixpence to the State, Which duly paid I should obtain permission To stay where I was so long as the State pleased, Without being prosecuted as a felon, Spy, or disturber of the public peace.
The further he goes into these administrative particulars, the more time we have to think about the parallel between the punishments threatened by religion and the punctilious enmeshments of the real world. The meticulous Mr Oberkellner is the butt of the joke, while the metaphor, like all good ones, cuts in several ways: hell will be nothing compared to bureaucracy; we are capable of imagining hell, because we can create bureaucracy; his innocence in Germany he is not a felon, spy, etc. The tone and diction of this are noteworthy: the first is relaxed and intimate; the second is colloquial, even plain.
Gallus Lazarus, for one. Julian And what did Lazarus say? Gallus Nothing; seemed not to know he had been away. The terse elegance displayed by Julian and his brother in the face of the brute facts of existence bespeaks courage. There is no consolation provided by God. Of course, Lazarus was hauled back into existence by the Son of God, but one cannot help but speculate that Henry, a medical doctor, is suggesting that Lazarus did not truly die.
Many other poems in Menippea also explore the hypocrisy of religious belief as it is handed down from one generation to the next. Ricks excerpts from one of these in his selection: Thalia Petasata, or A Foot-Journey from Carlsruhe to Bassano ; the title means abundance dispersed or spread out, but Thalia was also the muse of comic and idyllic poetry. The journey takes the travellers over the Alps from Germany into the vicinity of Venice.
It is a kind of diary put into blank verse: there are descriptions of the changing landscape, the receptions which he and his daughter receive in various inns along the way, his opinions on the qualities of beds in different countries, as well as on the positive and negative aspects of mixing with aristocracy.
It does not lend itself to easy quotation as the pleasure of the poem resides in that fact that it goes nowhere, even as the travellers themselves definitely do go somewhere. The only thread in the poem is the road itself and the tread of the travellers upon it. The first line here would suffice. Henry is not to be brooked. This is an idyllic landscape though Henry is also good elsewhere on depicting its dangers , that takes pleasure in the way that the poplars shade the traveller and arrange the sky above him.
Henry does not interrogate the countryside to reveal the Romantic sublime; he is content to stay with exact description and achieve his effects through that. He is a rare type of poet in the nineteenth century for the exact, yet luxurious, plainness of his vision, his humour, his independence, his lack of moralising and his intellectualism. His diction is stringent and direct, occasionally edging over into prose, but most often it is refreshing for its lack of archaism and energetic colloquial delivery. He was innovative because he transformed the treatment of old Irish material, demanding greater precision and less nationalist ideology in its translation.
He brought a large store of antiquarian knowledge to bear on his own translations and treatments of old Irish material. To complicate the picture, he was a Unionist and he thought his work valuable because it would clearly present the Irish and their history to an English audience: only through mutual recognition could the Union be strengthened. He was unoriginal because the poetry he wrote remained at the dullest and most conventional level of Victorian verse. Only when occasionally the syntax or tone of the original Irish materials breaks through the translation does something more interesting occur; but even that is usually just awkwardness, and does not bear comparison to the way in which J.
The stereotype of the Irish Protestant is as landowning gentry, or what is referred to as the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. He deeply loved the country and the people, even while he condemned the radical movement for independence. His practice as a barrister kept him in close contact with the north of Ireland, which necessarily meant Scotland also. However, in the s he struck up an association with the Nation, and was friendly with one of its founding editors, Thomas Davis also a barrister. When Davis died in , Ferguson wrote perhaps one of his finest poems memorialising his dead friend: I walked through Ballinderry in the springtime, When the bud was on the tree, And I said, in every fresh-ploughed field beholding The sowers striding free, Scattering broadcast for the corn in golden plenty, On the quick, seed-clasping soil, Even such this day among the fresh-stirred hearts of Erin Thomas Davis, is thy toil!
Ferguson was involved on an informal level with the work of the Ordnance Survey, which I described in the previous chapter. The tradition goes back as far as the last centuries of the first millennium CE. Through this method the landscape becomes a mnemonic for history, and so provides a further support for the oral culture. Along with the aisling tradition, which I discussed in the last chapter, dinnseanchas proved important for translations into English also. Landscape description took on a crucial role because, arguably, the actual land of Ireland — its rivers, mountains and forests — was the same land that Fionn MacCumhaill and other heroes once coursed over.
Although it should be noted that Ireland was almost completely deforested by the end of the seventeenth century. The dinnseanchas tradition would prove important to twentieth-century poets also, such as Yeats, Clarke and Kinsella. Although Ferguson was well represented in anthologies around the mid century, his first important book publication did not come till , The Lays of the Western Gael.
It was a long book which comprised several different modes — lyrics, translations as well as his own poems based on Irish material. The first of these relates not only some of the action, but also the difficulties of the transmission of the tale from generation to generation.
It was not simply that he, as a Victorian gentleman, represented the first, and the Irish represented the second: he admitted that England itself had savage beginnings along with a crude and repugnant literature , but these were purified and strengthened to their present triumphant form in the British Empire. There was no reason why the same could not be done for Irish culture. His major late work is Congal , a long poem based on the materials in The Battle of Dun na n-Gedh and the Battle of Magh Rath, which had been published in The events of the poem lead up to the Battle of Moyra in CE, in which Congal, a pagan chieftain from Ulster, does battle with Domnal, the Christian high king, because of a supposed slight.
Such a tale of military conflict in Ireland cannot but have raised the suspicion of an allegory of the latter-day situation.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Ferguson imagined different factions reconciled by such a vision as William Allingham did a few years before. Congal is interesting to consult in its original publication as the book truly comes alive in its notes, which comprise 84 closely printed pages out of the poetry is more generously spaced.
The notes gather a huge amount of antiquarian material which Ferguson often puts in a wider European context. Many academic debates are commented upon and judgement is meted out. They are written with much more verve and variety of tone than the poem itself and they make the reader regret that Ferguson did not write a prose book on the issues of Ireland and antiquarianism. Whatever the future may bring forth in the way of a truly great and national literature — and now that the race is so large, so widely spread, and so conscious of its unity, the years are ripe — will find its morning in these three volumes of one who was made by the purifying flame of National sentiment the one man of his time who wrote heroic poetry.
In the next two decades it would emerge into its full strength. Every new literary or artistic movement not only has to promise innovation and change, but it has to change our ideas of tradition. Ferguson, at the time of his death, was a neglected poet; by designating him a great poet, Yeats gives value to the course that he and others had launched themselves upon. It elides his Unionism as well as the degree to which Ferguson found the Irish material, in its unrefined state, barbarous and repugnant. As O to realise that English as spoken in Ireland could be a huge literary resource, and this would be capitalised on by Yeats himself, Douglas Hyde, J.
M Synge and many others. At this period, Tennyson was the foremost poet of his age and their relationship never progressed beyond that of master and acolyte. If Allingham had not worshipped Tennyson, he would not have accepted with equanimity the several snubs dealt him by the elder poet. Allingham faithfully recorded these in his diary and they make for uncomfortable reading. There are only a couple of exchanges on the subject of Ireland, but they are illuminating.
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Tennyson is ill informed on the subject, but that does not prevent him expressing trenchant opinions, anti-Irish in tendency. As for Allingham, elsewhere he would sometimes refer to the native Irish, implying that he and his family — although they had lived in the country for over two centuries — did not belong to that group. Our ancestors were horrible brutes! And the Kelts are very charming and sweet and poetic. I love their Ossians and their Finns and so forth — but they are most damnably unreasonable!
The pattern repeats in their other few exchanges on the subject of Ireland. Allingham was born in the village of Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal in The place is situated where the River Erne debouches into the Atlantic and it was an important port for many centuries. His childhood memories of the village would become one of the most important elements of his poetry. After working in a bank for a short while, Allingham became Customs Officer at the village. He arranged a transfer to a customs office in Lymington in , so that he could be nearer to Tennyson, and more generally to London literary life he also befriended Thomas Carlyle and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Allingham, to his credit, is not content with this, and explores a more sombre register as the poem progresses: They stole little Bridget For seven years long; When she came down again Her friends were all gone. They took her lightly back, Between the night and morrow, They thought that she was fast asleep, But she was dead with sorrow. They have kept her ever since Deep within the lake, On a bed of flag-leaves, Watching till she wake.
Allingham uses this so well that these lines could almost be passed off as part of an anonymous folk ballad. Early in his career, Allingham used to write ballads to old airs and have them printed and distributed anonymously. Celtic sweetness is laced with the smallest dash of violent menace. It is also a helpful passage to bear in mind as it indicates that Britain, like Ireland, was discovering its folk past, and this shift in British taste made the Irish material all the more welcome, especially when presented by an ambassador as urbane as Allingham.
Might we travel on together? Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland is the story of an Anglo-Irish landlord who returns from education in England and the Grand Tour to his estate in Lisnamoy, an Irish place that is made as generic as the realist mode will allow. The hero is a reformer who treats his tenants fairly and they respond favourably to his enlightened methods. Although the general vision of the poem is blandly eirenic, in its local details there is a refreshing bite. Allingham could write lines like these because over six decades had passed since the last important Irish revolution, and nearly as much time again would pass before As for nationalist agitators, they are shown to be self-seeking perverters of the good Irish peasant, little better than criminals.
His treatment of the Catholic Church is more accurate as he depicts it as sympathetic to the Catholic poor, but complicit with the British powers-that-be. For its conclusion the poem cuts to several years later when Bloomfield is blissfully married and a successful landlord, with Doran the trusted manager of his estate. There is a prospect of the landscape, viewed by Bloomfield and his wife, in the final pages of the poem which is similar to the vision of Ireland at the end of Congal. The two Unionist poets, Ferguson and Allingham, in this way express their love and benevolent wishes for Ireland.
In Allingham left his job at the Customs, and launched upon the freelance literary life. Allingham died in England in and his remains were buried in Ballyshannon. The social realism of Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland — balanced, sympathetic, by times humorous and acerbic — remained a resource untapped by Irish poets in the decades to come. They had other business to conduct.
Synge, Oscar Wilde The two decades between and were not very eventful in Anglophone poetry. Thus when a young, talented American poet looked around him for exemplars in , he turned to French poetry, not English, so that he could explore new structures and themes. The poet was T. Eliot, and, along with Ezra Pound, he would become a leading exponent of what is loosely referred to as Modernist poetry. This work was formally experimental and intellectually demanding: poetic voice was fragmented and often macaronic; the poems ranged widely in European cultural history, and often farther afield; many readers felt that their chaotic structures reflected the confusions of the age, especially in the period after the Great War.
Western civilisation was perceived to be in decline — its religious and cultural values fragmented, its politics in turmoil — and only those poets who were prepared to smash open the staid forms of traditional verse would be able to catch something of this change in their poetry. His advocates spread the idea that those who were unable to confront such confusion were likewise unable to face the complex reality of their own age.
This was connected with a further important element of Modernist literature: deracination. Where Modernism appeared avant-garde, poetry in Ireland seemed to be turning back to the past, while generally maintaining the forms and tones of Victorian poetry. This was part of a larger movement referred to as the Irish Literary Revival: long decades of antiquarian labour now bore fruit in a popular movement that touched many areas of life in Ireland — from farming to the fine arts.
There was increased interest in the Irish language, Irish dance, Irish stories, songs and poems. One strand of this movement, the Irish Irelanders, advocated cultural and later economic selfsufficiency, viewing with suspicion any foreign elements to be found in Irish literature, whether written in Gaelic or English. John Hutchinson discusses the ways in which modernity was an integral part of the Revival movement: Despite its Janus aspects, cultural nationalism creates the basis of national development in two respects.
First, by highlighting the dynamic aspects of the native past, it has enabled modernizing groups to harness traditional symbols to their purposes. Secondly, by stressing the indigenous sources of Western progress, it has provided a powerful critique of attempts to impose a single model of development on world societies. First, the Revival was a bilingual cultural phenomenon: it stressed the limitations of the English language for expressing certain aspects of Irish national character and thus changed literary idiom in order to accommodate these.
Moreover, much of the work of the Revival involved translation from an oral tradition — which lacked a standard orthography and standard versions of stories or songs — into English print culture. Whereas eighteenth-century translators attempted to mould these fragments into new unities in English, now the tendency was to leave the fragments as they were found in the original. Readers were thus alerted to how difficult it was to convey the national spirit from one language to another.
It is less difficult to translate Dickens into French than it is an Irish farmer-bard into English because Dickens is translated from the language of one advanced European country to another — there will be greater proximity between terms for social classes, institutions and urban spaces — whereas the farmer-bard will have to be translated literally into another world. Despite some local successes, neither J. Callanan, James Clarence Mangan nor Samuel Ferguson was ever able to find the right pitch for their Irish material in an English literary idiom: this would be the greatest achievement of the Irish Literary Revival.
Hyde collected the lyrics of these songs from peasants in various parts of Ireland, and in one case, in America. Sometimes he collated versions, and sometimes he provided several versions of the same song; sometimes he tried to explain the obscurities of the songs, and sometimes he left them as they stood; in all cases the originals were to be found on the facing page, along with the commentary in Irish.
The love of my soul is the Paustyeen Finn, Her heart and her soul to be squeezed to me, Two breasts, bright like the blossom of the bushes, And her neck like the swan on a March day. And sure against my will I was brought into it. It was not violence against their wish I did there But with the full consent of her father and mother.
To read the text and confront its difficulties is to contemplate the fate of the Irish language and people in the preceding centuries. That is a story of loss and sadness, but the fragmented and inconsistent text also possesses a peculiar strength of its own: there is a fluidity of speaking voice and dramatic situation that is strange to English poetry. The translation exists not just as a relic, but also as an elliptical, sensuous and forceful poem, and these were qualities which English poetry no longer possessed in the nineteenth century.
Many of its inhabitants settled there after they were displaced by Planters in the seventeenth century, and were thus condemned to subsistence farming of the most desperate kind; also Connacht suffered severely during the Famine because the land was poor and rocky. A honey mist on a day of frost, in a dark oak wood, And love for thee in my heart in me, thou bright, white, and good; Thy slender form, soft and warm, thy red lips apart, Thou hast found me, and hast bound me, and put grief in my heart.
This is achieved by the strange syntax, mainly by the way the first line determines the trajectory of all that follows, and this is taken directly from the Irish. As Robert Welch remarks: In order to achieve an English translating style which would correspond to Gaelic idiom, Hyde adopted the English speech of the Irish country people, itself enriched with the lingering shapes of Gaelic idiom and syntax. Such a fusion allowed him quite an extraordinary degree of linguistic latitude, in phrasing, syntax, even in imagery, so that his prose translations of Irish verse, in the Love Songs and elsewhere, have something of the strangeness, delicacy and daring later to be found in Synge.
Gone is the antiquarian academic apparatus of notes that Ferguson employed; and yet Hyde has been judged a better scholar than Ferguson. Revival 49 Of course, the sub-Victorian mode persisted in poetry of the period one is frequently and floridly consoled by poets in the face of loss , but this was not the whole story, and the Literary Revival released many new forces in Anglophone poetry.
There was a higher level of knowledge about Irish mythology and history than at the time when Moore wrote, and several poets were able to marry his degree of mellifluousness with more exact accounts of myths and stories. For instance, Katharine Tynan — in her second collection of poetry, Shamrocks , achieved exactly this. Her face on the long throat was like a lily: She drooped, then straightened, with a sudden scorn In the great stormy eyes; anon grown chilly, She shivered, for the old night waned to morn.
It indicates the degree to which the Literary Revival learned from the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers how to write about historical and mythological subject matter for a modern audience. This is the moment when Gaelic material becomes commercially viable. Tynan in her later career drifted away from Irish material to write more conventional poems about Catholicism, the joys of motherhood and the changing of the seasons; her most important title in this mode is The Wind Among the Trees , and her influence on Yeats is clear in the title of his collection, The Wind Among the Reeds, published the following year.
There were other modes of Revival poetry. Ethna Carbery — , with Alice Milligan, founded the Shan Van Vocht, a nationalist literary and political journal, in Belfast in , and it had a wide distribution, especially in America. The Ulster Literary Revival was a cultural phenomenon distinct from that which was taking place in the south. In , she published her only collection of poems, The Four Winds of Eirinn. Most of her work is of negligible value and combines Christian with Celtic motifs.
Till I pay back the four-fold debt For the horrors I witnessed there, When my brothers moaned in their blood, And my mother swung by her hair. It also indicates that the Revival was not simply a hobby for the bourgeoisie, but occasionally drew upon darker currents of national feeling. Although Emily Lawless — employed almost exclusively Irish subject matter for her writing she disagreed with the main political aspiration of the Revival writers: she did not believe the Irish capable of self-governance.
Her reputation as a novelist has overshadowed her considerable achievement as a poet in the collection With the Wild Geese The successes and desolation of Irish history are faced unflinchingly and her technique is spare and precise. She is too interested in history to be concerned about mythology, and this emphasis sets her apart from other poets of the period.
Higgins, followed the poetic templates forged by W. Lawless, as we saw above, did not. She wrote a pioneering work of feminist theology, A Psychological and Poetic Approach to the Study of Christ in the Fourth Gospel ; she was an acclaimed poet and dramatist; and she was a leading trade-union figure and suffragette.
She also made use of Irish mythology, but in a strikingly different way from the other poets of the period. For many Revival writers, mythology provided a magical other world that was diametrically opposed to mundane reality; for Gore-Booth, the mythological figure of Medbh leads her back to that everyday world. She tells a tale of How a great Queen could cast away her crown, The tumult of her high victorious pride, To rest among the scattered fir-cones brown And watch deep waters through the moonlight glide.
Ah, Niamh, still the starry lamp burns bright, I can see through the darkness of the grave, How long ago thy soul of starry light Was very dear to the brave soul of Maeve. He showed how the work displayed both an austere restraint and almost always technical prowess. Here then was a tradition, perhaps not as important, varied and vital as that of the English language, but a tradition nevertheless. Eliot remarked, writers of genius force us to rearrange the canon in their wake.
Sometimes they do this violently, sometimes they do it with a slow subtlety, but for the most part this work takes place within one language. The tradition which Sigerson presented to Irish readers, however, had been translated, and this introduced a further factor into negotiations.
Issues of linguistic competence arise, and after that of translation theories.
The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry, - Justin Quinn - Google 图书
These can pose obstacles, but they can also send a writer surging forward with new unexpected energy. As we will see in the case of Yeats in the next chapter, these issues can even profoundly affect a writer with no knowledge of the source language. It is important to note, though, that this process does not convey the spirit of Ireland from one language to another, i.
For all the excellent antiquarian work that preceded the Revival and continued into the next century, this is an act of imaginative creation. The greatest betrayal of that imaginative force, and what eventually rendered the Revival legacy progressively obsolete in the next century, was its institutionalisation.
It was not until the political upheavals of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the last three decades of the twentieth century that poets found a way to reinvigorate these images and themes. Another important aspect of the Revival was its dependence on funding and audiences outside Ireland. Finance flowed in from expatriates in America, and England provided homes, incomes and an audience for many Irish writers of the period.
Revival literature was not purely Gaelic, but was profoundly affected by these other loci, and many critics of Irish literature still have difficulty absorbing this fact. This is the dilemma of whether to write for the native audience — a risky, often thankless task — or to produce texts for consumption in Britain and North America. In the last chapter, I said that William Allingham, a poet deeply rooted in the English literary scene, was one of the first to handle Irish folklore in a fashion that made it interesting to a wider audience including a wider audience in Ireland.
The same is true of Yeats, as we shall see in the next chapter. One of the primary reasons for the success of the Revival was the recognition by some of its exponents that the English language and the English people were not inimical to Anglophone Irish literature, but were in fact the necessary condition for its existence.
William Morris, and more generally the Arts and Crafts Movement, created a cultural atmosphere that was amenable to the elements of Irish mythology in the new literature as it offered contact with pre-industrial reality. Indeed several Revival poets lived most of their lives in England, for instance Nora Hopper Chesson — and Lionel Johnson — He was not as bad as Carbery at her worst, but neither could he equal her furious best.
A further important aspect of the Revival was the figure of the Irish peasant.
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Their thoughts are in the spring-time, and all their metaphors fresh. Mitchell — , in her Aids to the Immortality of Certain Persons Charitably Administered : Oh no, we never mention it, its name is never heard — New Ireland sets its face against the once familiar word. The poem concludes by begging Gaelic Leaguers and Sinn Feiners to listen to her as she begs for The right to mention once again the word of other days, Without police protection once more her voice to lift — The right to tell even to herself that she still wears — a shift!
Revival 55 In the passage quoted above Dunsany is introducing the work of Francis Ledwidge — , who was born in Slane, Co. Kildare, and worked as a labourer in several different jobs. It was only after he came into contact with the work of Yeats and Katharine Tynan that he began to incorporate motifs from Irish mythology in his poetry, and to no great effect.
He is best remembered as a nature poet of an etiolated Keatsian variety: his poems display technical facility and have a narrow thematic range, much like the Georgian poets in England at this time. Both his poetry and the way he found his death recall the English poet Edward Thomas — , but he suffers from the comparison: whereas Thomas was a successor to Keats, Ledwidge is only his epigone.
However, this is essentially an ornamental poetry that is never cathected by any larger forces, whether of nature, politics or human emotion. The poems of J. Because he revolutionised the idiom of European drama and because his plays catalysed some of the most important debates of the Revival, his poetry, which is more or less conventional, has commanded little interest.
The poems are extremely short, concise and limited in theme: for the most part they talk of love and nature, the eternal stalwarts of poetry.
Rose-hips are found in the bare hedges, and their tart, red pulp — wrapped tightly in a shining skin — morphs at the end of the poem into the lips of the lover; this is a good example of rhyme carrying much more than a mere identity of phonemes. The first part of the poem shows the way that nature shuts down slowly as winter approaches; and the last two lines blow this wide apart, as Synge makes a different motion of time collide against that of the seasons — and the whole year is recuperable by one kiss.
Their opinion is expressed eloquently by Declan Kiberd: His years of writing in Paris had yielded nothing but morbid and introspective works; but the discovery of Aran, and the challenge to project its life to the world in English, signalled his discovery of himself as a writer. The nationalism of the argument blurs, rather than clarifies, the contours of Irish literature for instance, he has signal difficulty bringing Samuel Beckett into line with his narrative. But it also presents an insidious argument in its rhymes.
Synge makes foreign places and their languages harmonise with the native radical. Just as the line between Modernism and the Literary Revival is not so clear as it once seemed, so too does a poem like this beautifully blur the edge of Ireland. However, one is not so tempted to protest as in the case of Synge. Wilde was a suave and elegant stylist and many of his poems display little more than his facility. Wilde stands before the Revival, but he provided Yeats with hospitality in London when the younger poet was establishing himself in the metropolis.
This chapter has, for the most part, tried to assess the poetry of the Irish Literary Revival with scant reference to Yeats. But Yeats was its sine qua non, and its greatest poet. The next chapter is devoted in its entirety to his work. Chapter 4 W. Yeats The poetry of W. Yeats is both the culmination of the nineteenth century and the unsurpassed achievement of the twentieth; he is at once a bridge from the minor achievements of the preceding decades to the major works of Irish poetry and their greatest instance.
Through him Irish poetry learned to confront modernity and found new ways to configure the relations between literary works and nationalist ideology. Yeats marshalled the major elements of nineteenth-century culture — translation from the Irish, antiquarianism, the influence of English Romanticism and the Arts and Crafts Movement, the tensions for an artist between an English audience and his Irish provenance — and employed them in the creation of some of the best poems in the English language.
He drew together figures as diverse as Mangan, Davis and Ferguson and crafted their legacy into an Irish poetic. In consequence poets who continue to write in traditional forms look somehow obsolete. Again, what these poets say about poetry should be central to academic syllabuses, displace a few Modernist pundits. During the last decade of the nineteenth century, he was ever careful to avoid militant issues, but this changed in the twentieth century, as his poems intervened directly in political matters — commenting, deploring, instructing — such as the riots surrounding The Playboy of the Western World, the debacle of the Hugh Lane bequest and land agitation near Coole.
In his early career he was reviled by nationalists at home, and yet was their greatest advertisement in America, and in more subtle ways in London.
Political issues are not extraneous to the poetry, but lie at its very heart. Yeats, while arguing in favour of tradition over individualism, made his own poetic autobiography the history of his country. As an index of this, the finest biography of the poet was written not by a literary critic, but a historian, R. Yeats did not lead the Revival in Ireland, then he was certainly at the centre of most of its debates.
As I remarked in the previous chapter, the phenomenon of the Revival embraced a dizzyingly wide range of activities — from farming co-operatives to the study of bardic metres — but perhaps the major element was the Irish language. From the s to the end of his life, Yeats came under strong attack for his ignorance of Irish he could neither speak nor read it , and this draws attention to the paradox at the centre of his poetic achievement: his poetry, at least in the first three decades, proclaimed its profound connection with the country, and yet he could only get at this material through interpretation and translation.
Yeats 61 But Yeats had to make that connection because he saw Irish culture as an important refuge from modernity, which for him, as for many others, stood for individualism, industrialism, blinkered rationality, disrespect for tradition, irreligiousness and philistinism. Kirwan was sitting on a low stool in a corner of a wide hearth, beside a bright turf fire. Kirwan sits arguing with Yeats about ailments, cures and how the fairies influence these. Yeats knows that he will be mocked for believing such hocuspocus.
But he also knows that such mockery emanates from a Victorian culture that was itself in deep crisis as it could not reconcile its belief in science with religious belief. Kirwan speaks only Irish and Yeats only English; they have an interpreter. Yeats would claim that Gaelic culture, in such interviews and through research, could be transferred to English, and made available to monoglots like himself.
Thus his poetry makes its claim to Irishness. To admit that our writers owe more to the English tradition than to the Irish original seems a type of treason. As I remarked before, it is only so if we restrict that tradition to England. Gaelic culture influenced Yeats deeply, as it did other Irish poets writing in English; but that influence must be calibrated against the deeper influence of the literary tradition of the language they wrote in.
Two years later, his family moved to London, where they would remain for thirteen years, with frequent trips back to Co. In he began to publish his first poems, and already we see the establishment of what would prove lifelong interests. He was an extremely cultured man, and Yeats often showed him drafts of poems, listening carefully to his advice.
ISBN Reviewer: Jane Moore Recent years have seen much work in Romanticism as an inward and imaginative Romantic studies on Irish, Scottish and, it is cultural form. Pittock maintains that the work worth saying in the context of this review — of Scottish writers Scotland is where the weight albeit to a lesser extent — Welsh poets of the late of his study falls as the inversion of alphabetical and early nineteenth centuries.
Or so English speaking regions or countries, Catalonia we might argue. Chapter emerged in opposition to Englishness. It is difficult to do justice in a short review to a Pittock does not write in a style meant for work of the depth and complexity of Scottish and beginners, perhaps, but his work is an important Irish Romanticism, and chapter summaries are a and nuanced challenge to the post-war version of poor substitute but they do at least convey the literary Romanticism.
It anonymous victims in this case, of suspected proposed the creation of a five-year legacy government killings and attempts to bring about commission to conduct a final, comprehensive justice for the nameless dead. He has been the hypocritical, given his own increasing immunity quiet man of northern Irish writers, was rarely to the suffering that has taken place, but it is also interviewed or seen on the literary circuit. But he misrepresentative. For in the narrative the vast is now receiving wide recognition as a major majority of the community apart from the writer, particularly on the back of his new novel.
One who shares dozen the organisation abducted and secretly this distaste is former IRA leader Francis Gilroy, buried. After the ceasefire it admitted to Minister with responsibility for Children and these killings and is cooperating with the Culture, who realises that signing up to the authorities in locating their remains. The practice, he ineffectually quotes and mishandles main protagonists, all sullied, are in middle age a Philip Larkin poem.
Fenton had recruited year-old Connor like Lady Macbeth, reminds him of the sacrifices Walshe as an informer, he and his colleagues they had to make and the rewards they deserve. Though pensioned off with a war, things change in a war. Can I go home now? See www. The Imprint of History. Volume 1 pp. Volume 2 pp. Reviewer: John L. The twists, and the to violence and its cessation. Each chapter opens with an mutual connections, and tracks their deviations historical description, interspersed with from each other's lines.
Parker's narrative of the microscopically close readings of one text. The edited essay collections, one on postcolonialism, oblique, or detached, preference that Ronan and another on contemporary Irish fiction. They combine close careful recovery of artifacts may overwhelm a readings — from lesser known and more familiar casual observer. For example, volume one lists poets, playwrights, and short story writers, and over notes for about pages of text.
Six citations move from institution of power sharing. In one dalliance unsettles Parker. If by historians in their Dungannon account which they stumble, he proportionately corrects their relied upon this reference. Parker then quotes fall. Most had never heard Northern predicament, and its inextricable of it. As the conflict protracted, novelists and narrative that demanded articulation? Parker story creators entered the fray. Parker quotes perhaps to an international audience. For fiction, fewer there is of course something terrible in that, but predecessors guided.
Parker accurately Auschwitz cannot be compared with sentiment. The lingering gaze of Heaney over the introductions to writers left out of the canon body of the young girl condemned for her invite readers to rescue abandoned texts. National shadowed. Often warped into deserved sustained accompaniment. Parker deserves cartoonish roles as thugs, terrorists, or tramps. They dominate fewer Despite his ambitious project, Parker never enclaves of sectarian adherents. Laird, and many loses sight of the reader unfamiliar with this of his peers, turn now away from these genre.
Readers studying these two books will superstructures. They portray rather those who find fresh texts to pursue. Those familiar with lived under them, within the rubble, who rebuild, politics may be less so with lesser-known poets; resist, and revive. Writers refill the social from the earth.
I guess that ambulances gaps with home-grown speech. Through which, a reassembled head will look out and admire the shy young man taking his bomb from the building and driving home. John L. He reviews widely in print and on poets, literature may provide — after long agony line.
His research interests include republicanism from many of its creators at its passivity amidst in Irish literary culture, and the representation of destructive acts — a source of healing now in its the Irish language in English-language texts. Quinn focuses on the topics. One of the last additions to the series has adoption of the English language and the loss of been a volume dedicated to modern Irish poetry, Gaelic and on the ambiguous attitude towards the written by Justin Quinn, an Irish critic and poet Empire.
As the author reminds us, despite their himself. Given the aim of the series, which is interest in Ireland and all things Irish, the poets primarily to provide a work of reference for of this era were actually writing for a British students, we should not expect beforehand to audience. Quinn gathers together the ambivalent find in-depth essays on the topic. Nevertheless, views of Thomas Moore, J. Callanan and J. Quinn readership, every chapter is divided into presents authors, such as Samuel Ferguson or subsections dealing with specific authors. William Allingham, who swung between their However, in spite of these clear divisions, the connection to the Victorian Empire and their volume reads well as a whole, thanks to an self-identification with the Irish National informed and well-chosen series of quotations, sentiment.
For the purposes of his account, of indigenous culture, the inadequacy of modern Irish poetry will be Anglophone, language and the limits of the Victorian poetic produced between the Act of Union and , mode. Having dealt with the confluence with and characterised mainly by a variable attitude modernity, Quinn focuses on the confrontation of towards the concept of nation. Successively, chapter 5 out of the Irish borders specially in America deals with the generation that followed Yeats and how these expectations are subverted. There chronologically and with the different reactions is also a space in this chapter for hybridity and towards the legacy of the Revival.
The cluster of onwards and up to the roar of the Celtic Tiger. The nationalist subverted the Irish nationalist ideology. Paralleling this experience, in The of Protestant background who both feel the need Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry to claim their Irishness and the unease of being we can witness the disappearance of the rigid identified with the colonizing Empire. This borders of traditional scholarship. The selection section discusses the work of Belfast-born Derek of material presents some debatable choices, Mahon and Michael Longley, and Quinn remains such as the predominance of twentieth-century focused on the North of Ireland by dedicating authors or the exclusion of Irish poetry written in chapter 8 exclusively to Seamus Heaney.
Quinn Gaelic. There is no doubt that the future scholars Anglophone poetry and the Irish language. After all, that is what from the translations of contemporary poetry really lies at the core of modern Irish poetry. In turn, Peter Perspectives. The influence alliance between men and the Invisible. In it she deals with a new the sacred, through its pagan and Christian past.
But all this has changed and now Irish poets in the past were viewed as shamans who people think nothing of flying back and forth to could invoke the spirit of a place or an object and the New World. For Heaney Irish authorities to think again about the need to poems contribute to the transformation of reality take a more sympathetic view of people, like the and have a healing effect.
They convert obscurity Nigerian boy who had come to Ireland looking into clarity and darkness into light. He claims that the Nation show how both authors turned Irish people are not aware of this and says that to humour as a way of dealing with the Anglo- responsibility to take action lies with the Irish war.
Bronwen transformation and redefinition of attitudes Walter, on the other hand, concludes that towards the Church, Crotty still thinks it has an although the Peace Agreement and the Celtic important role to play in Irish life. Although they gained joining the European Union has meant for second place in the elections in the North they Ireland. So, where famous Celtic Tiger converting Ireland into a do they go from here? Far from being a disjointed collection of of the EU. The Celtic Tiger, the Catholic Church, show mutual respect for historical memories if immigration rather than emigration, the EU, all true reconciliation is to come about.
Gaels and Planters alike to come together and to Rather than describing this work as a patchwork learn from the voices of the dead in their resting of essays, I would describe it as a carefully places. It is a book in which there is took place during the IRA negotiations with the something for everyone! British in , where he says it was clear that the IRA had not wanted a long ceasefire.
She is a lecturer in Ongoing Tragedy? Related Papers. Book review: Stinting Fly Stories. Edited by Sarah Gilmartin and Declan Meade. Estudios Irlandeses 13 : New Perspectives on Irish Folklore. Edited by Michael S. Interview by Leonard Schwartz. Cross-Cultural Poetics, episode 62 Fall Karnival , no.
Edited by Dan Finn. Jacket2 , Edited by Julia Bloch and Michael S. Interview by Marthine Satris. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry 5, no. Edited by Robert Sheppard and Scott Thurston. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry , forthcoming. Red Noise of Bones. Dublin: Coelacanth; Bray, Co. Compact disc. October Mercer Union, Toronto. Available at archive. Reading with Cai Tianxin at SoundEye. July Posted September 7, Part 1 , part 2, part 3 , part 4. Reading at Miami University, Ohio, October Part 1 no longer available , part 2 , part 3 , part 4 , part 5 , part 6 , part 7.
Posted to YouTube September 17, Reading, SoundEye Workshops, March Posted to YouTube March Archambeau, Robert. Reprinted as Another Ireland: An Essay. Begnal, Michael S. Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, Butler, David. Edited by Peter Sirr. Davis, Alex. Dublin: University College Dublin Press, Joyce discussed on —, — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Dorward, Nate. Edited by Eirik Steinhoff. Edwards, Marcella. Falci, Eric. Continuity and Change in Irish Poetry , — Joyce discussed on 31 — Fauchereau, Serge.
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The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry, 1800-2000
Texas: Texas Christian University Press, Longley, Edna. Mays, J. N A Musing. Dublin: Coleacanth, Reprinted in Little Critic , no. Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce. Bristol: Shearsman Press, Pehnt, Annette. Published in summary form in Harvard Celtic Colloquium , no. Quinn, Justin. Sealy, Douglas.
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