Tag Archives: Irish poetry

“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

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“A man innocently dabbles in words and rhymes, and finds that it is his life.” — Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh, titanically angry Irish poet, was born on this day in 1904. He came of age during the Celtic Renaissance and he thought it was all a bunch of bullshit. That is not a direct quote. He was much … Continue reading

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“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” — Oscar Wilde

It’s his birthday today. One of my heroes. His mother, Jane Speranza Francesca Wilde (aka Lady Wilde, aka “Speranza”) was an incredible woman – also in the canon of Irish literary history certainly, not to mention its politics and social … Continue reading

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“You cannot write and answer the phone.” — Irish poet Paul Durcan

God, I love this guy (born on this day) His poems are chatty, observant, scathing, often very funny. His poems sometimes have long funny titles: “The Divorce Referendum, Ireland, 1986”, or “Irish Hierarchy Bans Colour Photography”. He has a strong … Continue reading

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“Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A fusillade of question marks.” — Belfast Poet Ciarán Carson

It’s Carson’s birthday today. He died in 2019. Paul Muldoon’s name invariably comes up when Carson is mentioned (post about Muldoon here). They share similarities (Northern Irish settings/concerns, long chatty lines, postmodern accumulation of detail, the use of humor, and … Continue reading

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It’s the birthday of Irish poet Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide (Michael Hartnett)

“I’ll never forget reading his first short poems in the early sixties; they had a kind of hypnotic power, as if a new Orpheus had emerged from Newcastle West. He was Limerick’s Lorca.” — Seamus Heaney on Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide … Continue reading

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“Poetry in my opinion must be honest before anything else and I refuse to be ‘objective’ or clear-cut at the cost of honesty.” — Irish poet Louis MacNeice

“Self-assertion more often than not is vulgar, but a live and vulgar dog who keeps on barking is better than a dead lion, however dignified.” — Louis MacNeice Born in Belfast on this day in 1907, Louis MacNeice went to … Continue reading

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“I like myself poems that are gentle rather than arrogant intellectually. Where language fades into cries or whispers.” — Irish poet Medbh McGuckian

“Hate those two words together, they are so unwomanly and unpoetic together they cancel each other out. ‘Poet’ I don’t like or ‘woman’ or ‘man’ none of these words although I have had to use them. ‘Female’ not much better. … Continue reading

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“I write out of a jumble of emotions and vague notions and scraps of knowledge. At some stage a form or, rather, a shape mysteriously emerges.” — Irish poet Michael Longley

Michael Longley was born on this day in Belfast in 1935. He is still going strong. He went to Trinity where he studied classics. Much of his poetry shows a classical influence, with references to the ancient Greek and Roman … Continue reading

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Year in Review: Shooting My Mouth Off in 2020, Part 2

Here’s part 1, a list of things I’ve written for other outlets. This list, then, is a hodge-podge of the things I’ve written here this year. Anyone familiar with this joint knows that I do tribute posts for people’s birthdays. … Continue reading

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