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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Defying critical suggestions that the pastoral elegy is obsolete, Iain Twiddy reveals the popularity of the form in the work of major contemporary poets Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley, Douglas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.
The most significant US anthology of innovative poetries from the UK and Ireland in over 25 years.
Though poets have always written about cities, the commonest critical categories have stressed the rural, so that poetry can seem irrelevant to a predominantly urban population. This book seeks to redress the balance by exploring work by a range of poets who reflect the contemporary urban scene.
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.
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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