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Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry Hardcover – 5 Mar 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (5 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674049519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674049512
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 17 x 5.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,207,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The book includes upwards of 50 poets--and there's not a dull page in it. Editor Wes Davis's selection is judicious, while his introduction and notes are as informative as they are brief. -- Richard Tillinghast Wall Street Journal 20100424 An incredible bargain, this beautifully produced book (the spacious creamy pages are a great comfort to screen-weary eyeballs), with compact introduction and judicious notes by the editor, has a gem on every page. -- Tom D'Evelyn Providence Journal 20100606 This is a book to be grateful for. -- Robert Gray The Australian 20100901

About the Author

Wes Davis is a former assistant professor of English at Yale University. He has written on British and American literature for publications ranging from the Southwest Review and Parnassus to the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Collection, But Missing Very Important Work... 21 Mar. 2010
By Flounder - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly beautiful collection of modern and contemporary Irish, not 'British,' poetry. Harvard UP must be praised for publishing such a remarkable and important edition. It is remarkable because the book itself is aesthetically pleasing. It is important because it collects a variety of Irish poetry after William Butler Yeats. Anthologies tend to exclude more than we'd wish, but why not include Yeats? Although the editor mentions Yeats in the Introduction, none of his poems are included in the anthology. Yeats was a crucial Irish modernist. Although widely anthologized, Yeats's poetry still needs to be carefully studied for its impact on modern Irish culture. Thus, an anthology of this sort really needs to include a few of his poems. Granted, any editor would have a tough task at making selections; however, unhappily, several other important poets are not included here. For example, we need to see more representation of Irish poetry in the 1930's. Kavanagh, C. Day Lewis, MacNeice, and Beckett are included here, as they should be, but Thomas McGreevy, Denis Devlin, and Brian Coffey are overlooked. They were important intellectuals. Among other critics, Beckett thought so. If their work were more accessible, then the public would be allowed to discover its merits. Although many young poets are included here, several truly innovative poets are left out: Maurice Scully, Trevor Joyce, Billy Mills, Randolph Healy, Tom Raworth, and Catherine Walsh, to name a few. (If interested, check out the Poetry Ireland or Sound Eye websites for more information). And I scratch my head at several poets included here, which might ruffle the dandruff of some readers, but the poetry toward the end of the anthology isn't terribly strong (with few exceptions Dawe to Wheatley). Despite its oversights, this anthology casts a wide net and represents previously overlooked Irish language poets (in translation), female poets, and poets of the younger generation. As always, it's splendid to visit dear friends: Kinsella, Montague, Deane, Heaney, Mahon, Carson, Muldoon, and McGuckian, to name a few. But really, many of the selections are very safe and not terribly daring. However, I highly recommend this anthology to anyone interested in Irish studies or poetry. It's an important collection that attempts to demonstrate the Irish contribution to world poetry.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far too much missing... 11 May 2010
By Neil Doherty - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Someday somebody will produce a really representative anthology of all the poetry which has been written in Ireland in modern times. This , however, is not that anthology. While there is some excellent poetry collected here it is, with all anthologies, the work that has been excluded that raises eyebrows. I would love to know why such poets as Theo Dorgan, Michael Smith, Macdara Woods, Catriona O'Reilly, Paddy Bushe,the unique Cork poets Gerry Murphy, Patrick Galvin and Gregory O'Donoghue, the relgious verse of John F.Deane and Padraig J.Daly, the Irish language work of Colm Breathnach, Louis de Paor and Maire Mhac an tSaoi and the Irish-American seam mined by John Liddy amd Michael S.Begnal have been excluded. Coupled with the fact the none of the innovative poetry mentioned by the other reviewer has been deemed fit for inclusion, this anthology provides an imbalanced and quite conservative picture of Irish poetry. It seems to me that the editor, by his own admission, is not really aware of the true breadth and depth of what is happening in Ireland now and that he has not trawled through Irish poetry presses (Salmon, Dedalus, Wild Honey etc) other than Gallery. It is time for an editor with a deeper knowledge of the poetic culture of Ireland to prepare an anthology which would really do justice to its subject.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and interesting 27 Jun. 2010
By Sea Dog - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This anthology is a lively and interesting addition to Irish poetry collections. It offers an extensive look at a wide range of poets, including the well-known, such as Seamus Heaney, for example, and the lesser known, such as those who are emerging as Ireland's new voices. By presenting poetry from authors who have been established in the Irish canon, but whose work might have been overlooked recently, this book establishes a foundation that serves well to acquaint readers with a large variety of voices and styles of poetic expression. By introducing the work of newer poets, it shows that Irish letters continue to display vigor and creativity. The anthology demonstrates vividly that Irish poets, while they are concerned about matters specific to Ireland, either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, from a century ago or more recently, are also aware of and concerned about the world at large. The poets deal with the issues that affect humans around the world and throughout history, the epic as well as the everyday. This book would make a wonderful addition to any library, personal or public.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have for any Irishman!! 12 Dec. 2013
By Mr. Goad - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wonder full collection of Irish poetry sure to bring out the Irishman in us all!!! A must have for any person of Irish heritage .
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful poetry with tedious exposition. 22 Jun. 2010
By William D. Freeman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book as soon as it was published but have held off reviewing it until I had actually read it all the way through--a pleasure that should not be rushed and at 950 pages requires time.

I will not quibble about the selection itself. Anthologies are always subjective by nature. Suffice it to say that fans of Irish poetry will enjoy this book which has been very handsomely done up by the publisher.

My only real quibble is with the introductions to each poet provided by the editor. These are embedded in the text and immediatly proceed the entries of the represented author. The editorial comments are so heavily laden with jargon that readers are frequently reminded of a cardinal virtue of poetry: less is more.

One example should suffice. Describing a poem by Sarah Berkeley the editor writes: "The personification throughout the poem embodies Berkeley's eco-romanticism in the bony particulars of an environment that articulates its relationship to human life through human technology." Whew. The poem being described (p. 865) has a grand total of two words with three syllables. The rest of the poem uses only one and two syllable words.

Still, the introductions may always be skimmed over or ignored entirely.
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