Poetry in motion
Sat, Oct 09, 2010
POETRY: CLAIR WILLS reviews The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry Edited by Patrick Crotty, with a preface by Seamus Heaney, Penguin Classics, 1032pp. £40
ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO, during an interview in England for a job I didn’t get, I was trying to outline the subject of my research on contemporary Northern Irish poetry. I must have used the word “Irish” too often, for I was suddenly snapped at by an eminent professor of English: “It is still part of the Union, you know!” It is almost impossible to imagine such a reaction nowadays, which has as much to do with the strength of contemporary Irish poetry as it has with the changed situation in the North. So Patrick Crotty can confidently say he has organised this huge and absorbing anthology as a new “national tale” – the story of the nation unfolding in poetry over 14 centuries or more.
Tags Seamus Heaney
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