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This title offers an authoritative and up-to-date collection of original essays bringing together ground breaking research into the development of contemporary poetry in Britain and Ireland.
Defying critical suggestions that the pastoral elegy is obsolete, Iain Twiddy reveals the popularity of the form in the work of major contemporary poets Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley, Douglas Dunn and Peter Reading. As Twiddy outlines the development of the form, he identifies its characteristics and functions. But more importantly his study accounts for the enduring appeal of the pastoral elegy, why poets look to its conventions during times of personal distress and social disharmony, and how it allows them to recover from grief, loss and destruction. Informed by current debates and contemporary theories of mourning, Twiddy discusses themes of war and peace, social pastoral and environmental change, draws on the enduring influence of both Classical and Romantic poetics and explores poets' changing relationships with pastoral elegy throughout their careers. The result is a study that demonstrates why the pastoral elegy is still a flourishing and dynamic form in contemporary British and Irish poetry.
This volume introduces students to the most important figures,movements and trends in post-war British and Irish poetry. An historical overview and critical introduction to the poetrypublished in Britain and Ireland over the last half-century Introduces students to figures including Philip Larkin, TedHughes, Seamus Heaney, and Andrew Motion Takes an integrative approach, emphasizing the complexnegotiations between the British and Irish poetic traditions, andpulling together competing tendencies and positions Written by critics from Britain, Ireland, and the UnitedStates Includes suggestions for further reading and a chronology,detailing the most important writers, volumes and events
In Black and Gold indicates that opposed styles of poetry reveal subterranean correspondences that occasionally meet and run together. Austerity or tomfoolery are two of the many valid responses to the human condition that create the contiguous traditions that cannot help touching and reacting to each other. The poetry discussed in this book deals with the relation of individuals to strange or to familiar landscapes, and what this means to their own sense of displacement or rootedness; with the use of history as an escape from or as a challenge to an apparently failing present; and with the role of nationalism either as a refuge for angry frustration, or as a weapon against the affronting world, or as an ambivalent loyalty that needs to be scoured, or as all three. Here we find poetry as a means of discovering true or false allegiances and valid or invalid public and private identities; poetry as a medium for exploring the uses of the demotic in confronting the breakdowns and injustices of modern democracy; poetry as play in the midst of private and public woe; poetry as a spiritual quest, as a spiritual scourging, as a wrestling with spiritual absences; and poetry as an intermittent and sporadic commemoration of the triumphs and delights of epiphanic encounters with the physical world.
This Companion provides new ways of reading a wide range of influential women's poetry. Leading international scholars offer insights on a century of writers, drawing out the special function of poetry and the poets' use of language, whether it is concerned with the relationship between verbal and visual art, experimental poetics, war, landscape, history, cultural identity or 'confessional' lyrics. Collectively, the chapters cover well established and less familiar poets, from Edith Sitwell and Mina Loy, through Stevie Smith, Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Jennings to Anne Stevenson, Eavan Boland and Jo Shapcott. They also include poets at the forefront of poetry trends, such as Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay, Patience Agbabi, Caroline Bergvall, Medbh McGuckian and Carol Ann Duffy. With a chronology and guide to further reading, this book is aimed at students and poetry enthusiasts wanting to deepen their knowledge of some of the finest modern poets.
Over the last two centuries, Ireland has produced some of the world's most outstanding and best-loved poets, from Thomas Moore to W. B. Yeats to Seamus Heaney. This introduction not only provides an essential overview of the history and development of poetry in Ireland, but also offers new approaches to aspects of the field. Justin Quinn argues that the language issues of Irish poetry have been misconceived and re-examines the divide between Gaelic and Anglophone poetry. Quinn suggests an alternative to both nationalist and revisionist interpretations and fundamentally challenges existing ideas of Irish poetry. This lucid book offers a rich contextual background against which to read the individual works, and pays close attention to the major poems and poets. Readers and students of Irish poetry will learn much from Quinn's sharp and critically acute account.

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