Article

The Poetics of Partition: Poetry and Northern Ireland in the 1940s

Richard Kirkland

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/9780199561247.013.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

The Poetics of Partition: Poetry and Northern Ireland in the 1940s

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The history of poetry in the northern part of Ireland during the twentieth century has been associated with three revivals. The first occurred in the early years of the century, the second coincided with the beginning of World War II, and the third emerged during the mid-to-late 1960s. This chapter focuses on the second of the three Northern poetic revivals, a more troubled, if equally vigorous, affair than the other two. It was championed most energetically by the young student poet and critic Robert Greacen, and involved other significant Irish poets such as Roy McFadden, John Gallen, John Hewitt, May Morton, and W. R. Rodgers. Hewitt wrote an essay entitled ‘Poetry and Ulster: A Survey’, prompted by the publication of a number of anthologies of Irish poetry that contained significant proportions of work by Ulster poets. The essay not only celebrated the achievements of Northern Irish poets through the 1940s but also lamented a period that was passing.

Keywords: Irish poetry; Robert Greacen; Roy McFadden; John Gallen; John Hewitt; May Morton; W. R. Rodgers; Ulster; Northern Irish poets; Northern Ireland

Article.  7618 words. 

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

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