Synopses & Reviews
The Irish have long been associated with great writing generally, and poetry specifically. The love of language spreads all over this strong culture, and the Irish people have long shared poetry with each other, whether in the street, in the home, or in the pub. These more common poems may be bawdy or tragic, but there is always something quintessentially Irish about them.
Now, Christopher Cahill has put together a collection of the best of these Irish popular poems, found in newspapers, heard in pubs, or scribbled down in diaries. Drawing on work published and shared from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, the poems range from the satirical to the sincere, but oftentimes they simply provide a hysterical tale that begs to be read aloud.
Cahill includes anonymous balladeers as well as famous Irish poets like W. B. Yeats and Brendan Behan, who wrote poems very consciously and proudly in the popular tradition. The Irish live in all parts of the world, so the collection includes poems from the United States, Canada, Australia, and other locations that have a strong Irish presence.
With explanatory notes by Cahill that make the verse more accessible than ever, these poems act as the voice of the Irish people, full of humor, mischief, and wit.
Cahill includes anonymous balladeers as well as famous Irish poets like W.B. Yeats and Brendan Behan.
About the Author
Christopher Cahill is editor in chief of The Recorder, the journal of the American Irish Historical Society, and executive director of the Institute for Irish American Studies at City University of New York. Co-host of NBC's annual broadcast of New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade, he lives in New York City.