From Library Journal
In this first book of its kind, Schirmer (English, Univ. of Mississippi) focuses on poetry composed in English by a broad range of Irish writers from the 18th through 20th centuries. The title is a quotation from Yeats, who figures prominently here. Arranged chronologically, the work covers the expected "stars"?Swift, Goldsmith, Mangan, Synge, Colum, Stephens, Montague, and Heaney (but, surprisingly, not Joyce)?as well as numerous lesser-known but worthy writers, including Ireland's many women poets. Given the complexity of the Irish situation, the book fittingly addresses history, politics, culture, and religion as the backdrop for literature, and Schirmer is sensitive to the tension between the English and Irish languages and poetic styles. Stressing common themes like exile and national identity, he concludes that a "sense of ambiguity and discontinuity" characterizes the poetry. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.?Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT
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