Paul Durcan

(b. 1944)

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(1944– ),

Irish poet, born in Dublin, educated at University College, Cork. Prolific since O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor (1975), Durcan is an acclaimed performer of his poems. Powered by parallelism, refrains, and startling transitions, Durcan's monologues and fantasias are variously comic, painful, and imponderable. His most accessible poems are satires on the constriction of Irish life by ignorance, prejudice, and authority, often religious in origin. Daddy, Daddy (1990) deals hilariously with the poet's relationship with his father, a sternly Republican judge. Durcan has also written memorably of the failure of marriage (‘The Pietà's Over’), while his greatest originality lies in his utopianism—life revised by humane fantasy, often with an erotic cast. See A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993), Christmas Day (1996), Cries of an Irish Caveman (2001), and The Art of Life (2004).

Subjects: Literature.

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