Article

Walking Dublin: Contemporary Irish Poets in the City

Maria Johnston

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/9780199561247.013.0031

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Walking Dublin: Contemporary Irish Poets in the City

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Dublin is known worldwide as a city of literary walks. James Joyce's Ulysses, considered ‘the twentieth-century novel of walking par excellence’, is a classic example of the prose of walking. However, there is also a poetry of walking; Irish poets have developed a reputation as inveterate walkers. This chapter examines the presence of Dublin in contemporary Irish poetry and the ways in which Irish poets, including Thomas Kinsella, Paul Durcan, and Peter Sirr, have moved through the city on foot as they recorded its sensational realities, its sights, sounds, and streets. These ambulatory movements have generated mobile poetic forms and innovative aesthetic manoeuvres. Hazel Smith's musings on the ‘walk poem’ as poetic genre offer an instructive guide, while A. R. Ammons sees the poem as a walk. The poem becomes expansive, shifting territory, open-ended in its thematic and semantic possibilities as it transforms the poetic landscape around it.

Keywords: Irish poetry; Dublin; poets; literary walks; Thomas Kinsella; Paul Durcan; Peter Sirr; walk poem; Hazel Smith; A. R. Ammons

Article.  9306 words. 

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

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