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The Irish for No Paperback – 1 Jul 1987

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 1 Jul 1987
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: The Gallery Press; Reprint edition (1 July 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852350164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852350161
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.4 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,804,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was discussed at an Open Learning class at Queen's University Belfast and was hailed as a wonderfully vivid account of Belfast as it has been changing over the last 40 years. The language of this poetry is memorable and moving.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Irish For Yes, Please 16 Jun. 2008
By Kevin L. Nenstiel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those epoch-making books that colors how you see everything that comes after it. At the height of the painfully certain 1980's, with Thatcherism and Reaganomics out there telling everyone just how it is, Ciaran Carson came along with his marathon Whitman-inspired lines and his almost naively inquisitive tone, and presaged the decade of uncertainty that was the 1990's.

But I don't think this book sets out to redefine anything. Instead, it strips away layers of definition, its long irregular lines reflecting the shapelessness of the ideas Carson seeks. Violent Belfast, which through most of the Twentieth Century was the opposite of a literary city, here becomes a beacon every bit equal to Leopold Bloom's Dublin. But how can a person find himself in a city where maps lie, where memory is unreliable, and where indirection is the rule rather than the norm?

Of course, he can't. And that is the message Carson brings to the fore with this slim volume. Carson evades the grim despair that pervades much current poetry, but his formless indecision is an accurate reflection of the search for purpose and shape we see so often today. Really, Carson seems almost optimistic, even downright happy, in the lack of specificity that his city imposes on his life. Why, there are so many ways to grow!

Recommended for lovers of poetry, students of history, and devotees of human nature. Carson's "The Irish for No" is one of those rare books that has already influenced you in ways you don't know. And once you read it, the influence only becomes that much more powerful.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Irish for is raw emotions transported through expansive lines ... 17 Jun. 2015
By Lisa Stice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Irish for is raw emotions transported through expansive lines that do not fit the breadth of the page. Not a single poem in the entire book has lines short enough to avoid indentation somewhere in the poem, if not on every line. Carson’s collection catalogues the physical destruction and emotional turmoil of a Belfast in the grips of the destructive and divisive Troubles. Writing not as a reflective person looking back on past difficulties, but as a witness to his city and friends falling around him, the long lines carry the fresh wounds of pain, anger, despair, frustration, and desperation to impose order on chaos.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undermining language, undermining sectarianism. 25 Feb. 2001
By Charlotte - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is no Irish for "No". The title of this volume immediately launches us into a realm of confusing and unreliable language. Carson uses language like a toy, the kind of toy you want to take apart to see how it works. He is forever stretching and making holes in language, highlighting its inadequacy to communicate. This is a familiar trope of "postmodernity". But for Carson this playfulness is bound to his subject, that is the city of Belfast. Just as language is a system which does not quite make sense, where symbols only have an arbitrary relationship with what they symbolise, so is the city. In undermining the authority of language, Carson simultaneously undermines the symbols which have had such an elevated position in the sectarian divisions of the city. The colour green and the colour orange, a person's name or a particular flag are shown to have only superficial importance. This is a clever volume (sometimes irritatingly so) on a very important subject. Carson refuses to sink to an emotive level, an achievement which should be given due credit in an environment where passions are running extremely high.
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