Tag Archives: Irish poetry

“That is no country for old men.” — William Butler Yeats

“I thought we might bring the halves together if we had a national literature that made Ireland beautiful in the memory, and yet had been freed of provincialism by an exacting criticism, a European pose.” — W.B. Yeats William Butler … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

“Before verse can be human again it must learn to be brutal.” — Irish poet Austin Clarke

“He cleared a non-Yeatsian space in which an Irish poet might build a confident poetry in English for which the term ‘Anglo-Irish’ is meaningless.” – Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets Austin Clarke was born in Dublin on this day … Continue reading

Posted in Books, James Joyce, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Is there any virtue, for literature, for poetry, in the simple continuity of a tradition? I believe there is not.” — Irish poet Thomas Kinsella

The Dolmen Press, operated out of Dublin, was founded in 1951 by Liam Miller, and played a crucial part in the development of Irish poetry in the mid-20th century. It was a strictly nationalist operation; before The Dolmen Press, poets … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“What is important is to continue believing in the Irish language as a vibrant creative power while it continues to be marginalised in the process of cultural McDonaldisation.” — poet Michael Davitt

Michael Davitt, born in Cork on this day, didn’t grow up speaking Irish at home. He learned it at school. Munster Irish! His academic background in the Irish language gave him a different perspective than a person who grew up … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“I wanted to deliver a work that could be read universally as the-thing-in-itself but that would also sustain those extensions of meaning that our disastrously complicated local predicament made both urgent and desirable.” — Seamus Heaney

It’s his birthday today. Jean and I went to visit Siobhan in Ireland. Siobhan was in school, so while she was in classes Jean and I rented a car and drove across the country to Galway, and other Western points. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, Personal, writers | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

“I was going upstream, against the current. I was coming from the North before the North had broken”. — Northern Irish poet John Montague

It’s his birthday today. John Montague has great sentimental value to me. He was one of my father’s favorite poets. I remember being at home – some years ago, it had to be pre-covid (sob) – and Mum pulled out … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“All my work is about uncovering, especially uncovering of voices that speak without governance, or that speak without being heard.” — Seamus Deane

“So broken was my father’s family, that it felt to me like a catastrophe you could live with only if you kept it quiet, let it die down of its own accord like a dangerous fire … I felt we … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities, and all my love is toward individuals.” — poet/writer/hater Jonathan Swift

“[He is] the most vigorous hater we’ve ever had in our literature.” — Edgell Rickword We’re not supposed to “hate”. “Hate” calls to mind tiki torches. Or “hate crimes.” But there is a productive kind of hate. A galvanizing hate. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

“What’s the difference between an exile and an expatriate? It seems to me that an Englishman in France is an expat, but an Irishman is an exile.” — Irish poet Derek Mahon

“When growing up, my bunch of friends would have thought of ourselves as anti-unionist because we were anti-establishment. We would have been vaguely all-Ireland republican socialists. But then, when theory turned into practice, we had to decide where we stood … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Something is gone and that’s why you write.” — Irish poet Eamon Grennan

“I have a double sense of things, but I tend to write about what’s under my nose. I write about here when I’m here and when I go back to Ireland I write about what’s there. I regard myself not … Continue reading

Posted in Books, James Joyce, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments