The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry features the work of three Nobel laureates - W. B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney - as well as Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Moore, Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, Eavan Boland and James Joyce. It also includes epigrams, traditional verses and Old Irish songs, with 250 new English translations by the greatest poets currently working, including Seamus Heaney and Ciarán Carson.
Reflecting everything from Ireland's rich history of writing about the land, to its untypical prominence of women in and writing its poetry, and the abundance of oppositions that have preoccupied its verse through the ages (from Christian and pre-Christian attitudes, to Gaels and Vikings, Nationalism and Unionism, Catholicism and Protestantism, the Irish and English languages) this is an inclusive and masterfully arranged collection of Irish verse. The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry is an indispensable and important guide to the country's unparalleled literary culture.
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'...excellently edited, exceedingly confident, historically revealing and frequently surprising. The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry is a feat. It is the largest anthology of Irish verse yet spanning 1,500 years - and is more comprehensive than predecessors in its inclusion of a large quantity of pre-Yeats material and translations from languages other than Irish and Old English. A third of the 200+ translations are being published for the first time. It is, as Seamus Heaney says in the preface, the most confident anthology of the country's verse ... Patrick Crotty, the editor and a professor of Irish literature at Aberdeen University, should be congratulated for the precise, considerate and independent thinking he has brought to his selections." ( Irish Times )
This is a magnificent anthology...The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry is so rich in its inclusions, so superbly organised, showing such breadth of scholarship and (in general) felicity of judgement...applause for a great achievement... (Patricia Craig Independent )
'This is the best available single-volume collection of Irish poetry yet published.' (Nick Laird Guardian )
'The great length of the anthology allows brave decisions...the discrimination, imagination, deftness and heft of the whole is masterful. Much more than an anthology, this is an alternative history of Ireland, in poems that burn into the mind - the newly minted no less than the canonical.' (Roy Foster Financial Times )
Heaney occupies his rightful place in the year's stand-out anthology: The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry, edited by Patrick Crotty. From bards of the eighth century to Nick Laird (born in 1975), with ample space for translations from the Irish (over many centuries), for ballads and songs and rhymes, this sumptuous 1000-page gathering will last many winters out. (Boyd Tonkin Books of the Year, The Independent )
Patrick Crotty's Penguin Book of Irish Poetry threw a capacious net over many centuries, including a rich haul of wonderful new translations from the Irish, many by himself (as well as Heaney and others). (Roy Foster TLS Books of the Year Recommendation )
Patrick Crotty is a Professor of Scottish and Irish Literature at the University of Aberdeen and a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement. His translations from seventeenth-, eighteenth- and twentieth-century Irish verse have appeared in many anthologies. He edited Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology and is currently co-editing with Alan Riach the annotated three-volume Complete Collected Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid.
Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry, Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first book, appeared in 1966 and since then he has published poetry, criticism and translations which have established him as one of the most acclaimed writers of our time. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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