Article

‘Private Relations’: Selves, Poems, and Paintings—Durcan to Morrissey

Rui Carvalho Homem

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/9780199561247.013.0018

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

‘Private Relations’: Selves, Poems, and Paintings—Durcan to Morrissey

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In his collection Crazy About Women (1991), Irish poet Paul Durcan describes himself as an artist preoccupied with ‘picture-making’ and poetry. He is willing to assimilate the range of his artistic commitments to the private world of his affections, and to extend this equation to the rapport between word and image. An important line in the collection is: ‘Art is private relations – not public relations’. Durcan's poetry provides a useful starting point for assessing the role of painting in contemporary Irish poetry. This chapter examines private relations, selves, poems, and paintings, focusing on the variously unconventional poetics of Durcan, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, and Sinéad Morrissey. It explores both the nature of the rapport between poetry and painting, and whether the relation between word and image confronts us mainly with cases of conflict and rivalry.

Keywords: Paul Durcan; Irish poetry; paintings; selves; word; image; Paul Muldoon; Ciaran Carson; private relations; Sinéad Morrissey

Article.  7716 words. 

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

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