The first bilingual volume of poems by leading Irish twentieth-century poet Seán Ó Ríordáin. Edited by Frank Sewell.
In the the mid-twentieth century, a new generation of poets writing in Irish emerged, led by the pioneering figure Seán Ó Ríordáin. His work continues to engage today's Irish readers and writers with its honesty, humanity, humour, wordplay and striking juxtapositions of images.
This well-rounded selection of poems brings most of Ó Ríordáin's oeuvre to English-language readers for the first time. The poems appear in their original Irish alongside English translations by some of Ireland's leading contemporary poets, including Ciaran Carson and Paul Muldoon. Also included for the first time in English is Ó Ríordáin's essay "What Is Poetry? ", considered an extraordinary touchstone of critical insight for poets and literary commentators.
‘Selected Poems’ covers the major themes that preoccupied Ó Ríordáin: writing and poetry itself, the nature of art, the self, the individual in relation to the community, gender relations, animal and human life compared, the language and culture of Ireland, and mortality. These thems are often interconnected in his work, and this selection sheds fascinating light on the themes that alternately teased and tormented his mind: the claims of one's indigenous culture versus a poets' natural "nostalgia for world culture," adherence to tradition versus the freedom of the individual talent, faith versus searing doubt in one's self, religion, or nation.
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