Synopses & Reviews
Never have the immense riches of Irish poetry been displayed to better advantage in this magnificent new collection.
The Irish poetic tradition is generally not considered in its entirety. For the poetry in Irish, especially in the early and medieval periods, the emphasis is frequently specialist or linguistic, while the poetry in English is usually considered as an adjunct to the English tradition. Thomas Kinsella's new anthology views the tradition as a whole, with two major bodies of poetry in interaction--sharing, for a great part of their existence, a very painful history.
The selection is divided into three "Books." Book I opens with the earliest, pre-Christian poetry in Old Irish and ends in the fourteenth century with the first Irish poetry in the English language. Book II, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, presents the age of bardic poetry, and the great poetry of its decline, with the "new" poetry in Irish that followed it, and the era of Swift and Goldsmith. Book III covers the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the beggar poet Raifteiri, in Irish, and his contemporary, Thomas Moore, to the work of a number of poets born about the time of Yeats's death.
A feature of the anthology is the body of new translations by Thomas Kinsella. Versions have been used, where appropriate, from his 1981 publication, Poems of the Dispossessed: 1600-1900 (with The Midnight Court now completed) but new versions have been made for all other parts of the work. These amount to a significant new selection: of the early poetry (with some poems from the Latin), of four centuries of bardic poetry, and of a nubmer of modern poems.
About the Editor:
Thomas Kinsella, poet and translator, divides his time between Dublin and Philadelphia, where he is Professor of English at Temple University. Among his publications are the Tain (1969), Poems 1956-1973, Peppercanister Poems 1972-1978, An Duanaire: Poems of the Dispossessed 1600-1900, and Songs of the Psyche and Her Vertical Smile (1985).
A magnificent new collection of Irish verse that treats the tradition as a unified whole
Spans the body of poetry from the pre-Christian era to the present
Contains new translations of much verse originally written in Irish
In this delightful anthology, Thomas Kinsella, a renowned poet and translator, offers new translations of a significant selection of poems from the early centuries to the present day, thus revealing some of the greatest riches of Irish verse. No one has displayed the Irish tradition--which includes the earliest vernacular poetry in Western Europe--to better advantage than Kinsella has in this magnificent collection.
Divided into three "Books," Book I opens with the earliest, pre-Christian poetry in Old Irish and ends in the fourteenth century with the first Irish poetry in the English language. Book II, ranging from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, presents the age of bardic poetry and the great poetry of its decline, the "new" poetry in Irish that followed it, and the era of Swift and Goldsmith. Book III covers the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the beggar-poet Raifteiri in Irish and his English-language contemporary Thomas Moore, to the work of a number of poets born around the time of Yeats' death.
Selected by Thomas Kinsella, a renowned poet and translator, this anthology presents the Irish tradition as unity: verse in Irish and English, usually regarded separately, are shown as elements in a shared and often painful history.
As the most wide-ranging anthology available--spanning from the pre-Christian era to the present day, the poems are grouped in three sections. Kinsella's first selections are from the earliest pre-Christian times and move forward to the first poetry in English from the 14th century. Next comes Irish bardic poetry and English poetry in the era of Swift and Goldsmith. The final section brings us to the recent past and the present with 19th- and 20th-century poets from Davis, Mangan, Yeats, and Ferguson to Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh, and Seamus Heaney.
About the Author
About the Editor
Thomas Kinsella, a poet and translator, is Professor of English at Temple University. He is author, editor, or translator of several volumes of poetry.