Article

‘A Potted Peace/Lily’? Northern Irish Poetry Since the Ceasefires

Miriam Gamble

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/9780199561247.013.0040

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

‘A Potted Peace/Lily’? Northern Irish Poetry Since the Ceasefires

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In the 1990s, ceasefires were adopted in Ireland, followed in 2007 by the institution of devolved government at Stormont. With the Troubles now gone, the country has experienced a dramatic growth in tourism. Goodwill is everywhere, as is ‘progress’. Poetry now crowns the dome of one of Ireland's largest and plushest shopping malls. This chapter explores whether Belfast has stopped posing more problems than it offers solutions, and how the poets now coming of age will define themselves and their role, particularly in relation to the city. It focuses on the work of three poets – Leontia Flynn, Sinéad Morrissey, and Alan Gillis – all of whom wrestle with the problem of representing and interrogating their ‘own moment in history’. The chapter argues that, perhaps contrary to expectation, the peace context renders identity in Northern Irish poetry more, rather than less, problematic.

Keywords: ceasefires; Troubles; peace; Irish poetry; poets; Ireland; Leontia Flynn; Sinéad Morrissey; Alan Gillis; identity

Article.  7664 words. 

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

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