Defying critical suggestions that the pastoral elegy is obsolete, Iain Twiddy reveals the popularity of the form in the work of major contemporary poets Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley, Douglas Dunn and Peter Reading. As Twiddy outlines the development of the form, he identifies its characteristics and functions. But more importantly his study accounts for the enduring appeal of the pastoral elegy, why poets look to its conventions during times of personal distress and social disharmony, and how it allows them to recover from grief, loss and destruction. Informed by current debates and contemporary theories of mourning, Twiddy discusses themes of war and peace, social pastoral and environmental change, draws on the enduring influence of both Classical and Romantic poetics and explores poets' changing relationships with pastoral elegy throughout their careers. The result is a study that demonstrates why the pastoral elegy is still a flourishing and dynamic form in contemporary British and Irish poetry.
This volume introduces students to the most important figures,movements and trends in post-war British and Irish poetry. An historical overview and critical introduction to the poetrypublished in Britain and Ireland over the last half-century Introduces students to figures including Philip Larkin, TedHughes, Seamus Heaney, and Andrew Motion Takes an integrative approach, emphasizing the complexnegotiations between the British and Irish poetic traditions, andpulling together competing tendencies and positions Written by critics from Britain, Ireland, and the UnitedStates Includes suggestions for further reading and a chronology,detailing the most important writers, volumes and events
Though poets have always written about cities, the commonest critical categories have stressed the rural, so that poetry can seem irrelevant to a predominantly urban population. This book seeks to redress the balance by exploring work by a range of poets who reflect the contemporary urban scene.
Contiguous Traditions in Post-war British and Irish Poetry
Author: C. C. Barfoot
Category: Literary Criticism
In Black and Gold indicates that opposed styles of poetry reveal subterranean correspondences that occasionally meet and run together. Austerity or tomfoolery are two of the many valid responses to the human condition that create the contiguous traditions that cannot help touching and reacting to each other. The poetry discussed in this book deals with the relation of individuals to strange or to familiar landscapes, and what this means to their own sense of displacement or rootedness; with the use of history as an escape from or as a challenge to an apparently failing present; and with the role of nationalism either as a refuge for angry frustration, or as a weapon against the affronting world, or as an ambivalent loyalty that needs to be scoured, or as all three. Here we find poetry as a means of discovering true or false allegiances and valid or invalid public and private identities; poetry as a medium for exploring the uses of the demotic in confronting the breakdowns and injustices of modern democracy; poetry as play in the midst of private and public woe; poetry as a spiritual quest, as a spiritual scourging, as a wrestling with spiritual absences; and poetry as an intermittent and sporadic commemoration of the triumphs and delights of epiphanic encounters with the physical world.
In the last fifty years Irish poets have produced some of the most exciting poetry in contemporary literature, writing about love and sexuality, violence and history, country and city. This book provides a unique introduction to major figures such as Seamus Heaney, and also introduces the reader to significant precursors like Louis MacNeice or Patrick Kavanagh, and vital contemporaries and successors: among others, Thomas Kinsella, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Paul Muldoon. Readers will find discussions of Irish poetry from the traditional to the modernist, written in Irish as well as English, from both North and South. This Companion provides cultural and historical background to contemporary Irish poetry in the contexts of modern Ireland but also in the broad currents of modern world literature. It includes a chronology and guide to further reading and will prove invaluable to students and teachers alike.
Contemporary Jewish Writing in Britain and Ireland presents a wide range of writers-some at the heart of British culture, others outside the mainstream-who address the issue of Jewish cultural difference in Great Britain and Ireland. Editor Bryan Cheyette has assembled a striking roster of writers whose extraordinary imagination and understanding of Jewish experience in Britain and Ireland have transformed English literature in recent decades. They include established figures like Anita Brookner, Harold Pinter, and George Steiner, as well as such vibrant new voices as Elena Lappin, Jonathan Treitel, and Jonathan Wilson. As Cheyette argues, "the contemporary British-Jewish writers in this volume defy the authority of England and the Anglo-Jewish community. . . . [All] are risk-takers who . . . will eventually help replace narrow national narratives and gendered identities with a broader, more plural, diasporic culture". Bryan Cheyette is a professor of English and drama at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. He is the author of Construction of "the Jew" in English Literature and Society: Racial Representations, 1875-1945.