Article

Yeats, Clarke, and The Irish Poet's Relationship With English

Michael O'Neill

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199561247
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199561247.013.0003

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Yeats, Clarke, and The Irish Poet's Relationship With English

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

In 1937, W. B. Yeats wrote ‘A General Introduction for My Work’ to directly confront the dualities central to his poetry and his identity, and to reflect on his predicament as a consciously ‘Irish’ poet who uses the English language as his medium. One of the influences on Yeats's sense of being an Irish poet who writes in English is John O'Leary, who gave Yeats the poems of Thomas Davis, a Young Ireland poet whom Yeats subtly deployed in his explorations of what it meant to be an Irish poet writing in English. Writing in English, Austin Clarke brings to bear on his use of language the full weight of his apprehension of Irish history and culture. Clarke had a complicated response to the poetry of the Irish Literary Revival, especially that written by Yeats. Yeats and Clark both acknowledge that lamenting and unlamenting song derives from the awareness that Gaelic is their national language, but not their mother tongue.

Keywords: W. B. Yeats; Austin Clarke; English language; poetry; Ireland; John O'Leary; identity; Thomas Davis; Gaelic; Irish Literary Revival

Article.  8246 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.