Anglo-Irish Poetry after Yeats (from Kavanagh to McGuckian) (Anglo-ír költészet Yeats után Kavanagh-tól McGuckianig) in spring 2015
Ferencz Gyõzõ, Mon 14:00–15:30, Wed 10:00–11:30, R342, R342, host: DES (R338)
5-credit seminar, 60 h/term; strong prereq: BMA-ANGD-A1 A2 A3 A4
description & set texts

The course concerns Anglo-Irish poetry after W. B. Yeats. It will explore the achievements of the consecutive generations both from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The course will proceed by presentations to be followed by discussion.


Week 1. 9, 11 Feb—Orientation. Anglo-Irish Poetry after Yeats. Samuel Beckett (1906-1989): Whoroscope

Week 2. 16, 18 Feb—Clarke, Austin (1896-1974): Aisling; Martha Blake; Martha Blake at Fifty-One, Ancient Lights; Abbey Theatre Fire [Campbell 2000, 21-41; Donoghue 1986, 242-252; Farrell 2005; Gillis 2005, 77-95]

Week 3. 23, 25 Feb—Kavanagh, Patrick (1904-1967): The Great Hunger; Inniskeen Road: July Evening; On Raglan Road [Campbell 2000, 42-58; Gillis 2005, 62-77]

Week 4. 2, 4 March—Louis MacNeice (1907-1963): Snow; An Eclogue for Christmas; Carrickfergus; The Sunlight in the Garden; Bagpipe Music; Autumn Journal XV; Meeting-Point; Prayer Before Birth; Autobiography; Carrick Revisited [Campbell 2003, 59-75, Gillis 2005, 28-61]

Week 5. 9, 11 March—Hewitt, John (1907-1987): I Write for…; Once Alien Here; An Irishman Coventry; An Ulsterman; An Ulsterman in England Remembers; Conversations in Hungary, August 1969; Nineteen Sixteen, or the Terrible Beauty, To a Modern Irish Poet; Easter Tuesday [McDonald 1997, 20-40; Matthews 1997, 45-73]

Week 6. 16, 18 March—Kinsella, Thomas (1928): Downstream, In the Ringwood; Ballydavid Pier; Ancestor; The Route of the Táin [Fryatt 2006; Garratt 1986, 167-197]

Week 7. 23, 25 March—Montague, John (1929): Old Mythologies; Like Dolmens Round My Childhood, the Old People; A Lost Tradition; The Same Fault; The Cage; A Drink of Milk; The Water Carrier; The Trout; All Legendary Obstacles; The Silver Flask [Garratt 1986, 198-229]

Week 8, 30 March—Kennelly, Brendan (1936): The Book of Judas


Week 9. 8 Apr-Seamus Heaney (1939): Station Island [Campbell 2000, 113-132; Corcoran 1997; Longley 1986 140-169]

Week 10. 13, 15 Apr—Longley, Michael (1939): Wounds; The Linen Industry; Letters [To Three Irish Poets; To James Simmons; Letter to Derek Mahon; Letter to Seamus Heaney]; Swans Mating; Peace; The Butchers; Ceasefire [Campbell 2000, 133-148; McDonald 1997, 110-144]

Week 11. 2`, 22 Apr—Mahon, Derek (1941): In Carrowdore Churchyard; An Unborn Child; Ecclesiastes; Rage for Order; A Refusal to Mourn; A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford; Lapis Lazuli; Human Wishes

[Campbell 2000, 133-148; Longley 1986, 170-184; McDonald 1997, 81-109]

Week 12. 27, 29 Apr—Ní Chuilleanáin, Eiléan (1942): The Second Voyage; Studying the Language [Campbell 2000, 169-188] Maxton, Hugh (1947): At the Protestant Museum; Yeats at Glendalough; Vision of Blood Kindred

Week 13. 5, 7 May—Carson, Ciaran (1948): Belfast Confetti; Campaign; The Irish for No; The Mouth; The Knee; Punctuation; Second Language [McDonald 1997, 41-80] McGuckian, Medbh (1950): Tulips; The Sofa; Mr McGregor’s Garden; The Seed-Picture; The Flower-Master, The Flitting, On Not Being Your Lover; Little House, Big House; The Presence [Campbell 2000, 169-188; Wills 1993, 158-193]

Week 14. 11, 13 May—Recapitulation, grading.



Fallon, Peter and Mahon, Derek, eds.: The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, London: Penguin Books, 1990

Muldoon, Paul, ed.: The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, London: Faber and Faber, 1986

Ormsby, Frank, ed.: Poets from the North of Ireland, New Edition, Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 1990

Ormsby, Frank, ed.: A Rage for Order. Poetry of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 1992

Regan, Stephen: Irish Writing. An anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004


Beckett, Samuel: Collected Poems 1930-1978. London: John Calder, 1984

Carson, Ciaran: Collected Poems. Oldcastle: Gallery Press, 2008

Heaney, Seamus: Collected Poems. London: Faber and Faber, 1999

Heaney, Seamus: EStation Island. London: Faber and Faber, 2001

Hewitt, John: Collected Poems. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1991

Kavanagh, Patrick: Selected Poems. London: Penguin, 1996

Kennelly, Brendan: The Book of Judas. Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1991

Kennelly, Brendan: Cromwell. Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1987

Kinsella, Thomas: Collected Poems 1956-1994. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996

Longley, Michael: Collected Poems. London: Jonathan Cape, 2006

MacNeice, Louis: Collected Poems. London: Faber and Faber, 1979

MacNeice, Louis: Collected Poems. (Edited by Peter MacDonald) London: Faber and Faber, 2007

Mahon, Derek: Collected Poems. Oldcastle: Gallery Press, 1999

Maxton, Hugh: At the Protestant Museum. Mountrath: Dolmen Press, 1986

Maxton, Hugh: The Engraved Passion. New and selected Poems 1970-1991. Dublin: Dedalus Press, 1991

McGuckian, Medbh: Selected Poems. Oldcastle: Gallery Press, 1997

Montague, John: Collected Poems. Winston-Salem: Wake Forest University Press, 1995

Ní Chuilleanáin, Eiléan: Selected Poems. Oldcastle: Gallery Press, 2008



Brown, John: In the Chair. Interviews with Poets from the North of Ireland. Cliffs of Moher: Salmon Publishing, 2002

Brown, Terence: Ireland. A Social and Cultural History 1922-2002. London: Harper Perennial, 2004

Brown, Terence: The Literature of Ireland. Culture and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010

Campbell, Matthew, ed.: The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003

Clark, Heather: The Ulster Renaissance. Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006

Corcoran, Neil: After Yeats and Joyce. Reading Modern Irish Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997

Crowley, Tony: Wars of Words. The Politics of Language in Ireland 1537-2004. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005

Deane, Seamus: Celtic Revivals. Essays in Modern Irish Literature 1880-1980. London: Faber and Faber, 1985

Dean, Seamus: Strange Country. Modernity and Nationhood in Irish Writing since 1790. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997

Donoghue, Denis: We Irish. Essays on Irish Literature and Society. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986

Garrat, Robert F.: Modern Irish Poetry. Tradition and Continuity from Yeats to Heaney. Berkeley and Los Angeles CA: University of California Press, 1986

Gillis, Alan: Irish Poetry of the 1930s. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005

Kenneally, Michael, ed.: Poetry in Contemporary Irish Literature. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1995

Kiberd, Declan: Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation, London: Jonathan Cape, 1995

Lloyd, David: Anomalous States. Irish Writing and the Post-Colonial Moment. Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1993

Longley, Edna: Poetry in the Wars. Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1986

MacDonald, Peter: Mistaken Identities, Poetry and Northern Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997

Welch, Robert, ed.: The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996

Wills, Clair: Improprieties. Politics and Sexuality in Northern Irish Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993


Foster, R. F., ed.: The Oxford History of Ireland, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989

Foster, R. F.: Modern Ireland 1600-1972. London: Penguin Books, 1989 On individual authors


Farrell, Tyler: “Austin Clarke and the Consolations of Irish Catholicism.” New Hibernia Review, Volume 9, Number 4, Geimhreadh/Winter 2005, pp. 113-128

Donoghue, Denis: “Austin Clarke.” In: Donoghue, Denis: We Irish. Essays on Irish Literature and Society. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986, 242-252

Harmon, Maurice: Austin Clarke. A Critical Introduction. Dublin, Wolfhound Press, 1989


Corcoran, Neil: “Writing a Bare Wire: Station Island.” In: Allen, Michael, ed.: Seamus Heaney. London: Macmillan, 1997, 107-128

Corcoran, Neil: The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Study. London: Faber and Faber, 1998

Murphy, Andrew: Seamus Heaney. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996

O’Donoghue, Bernard, ed.: The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2009


Pine, Richard, ed.: Dark Fathers into Light. Brendan Kennelly. Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 1994


Fryatt, Kit: “Thomas Kinsella's 'Downstream' revisions.” Irish University Review, Autumn-Winter, 2006,


Peacock, Alan J. and Devine, Kathleen: The Poetry of Michael Longley. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 2000


Longley, Edna: Louis MacNeice: A Study. London: Faber and Faber, 1988

MacDonalds, Peter: Louis MacNeice: The Poet in His Contexts. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991

Stallworthy, Jon: Louis MacNeice. London: Faber and Faber, 1995


Wills, Claire: “Medbh McGuckian: The Intimate Sphere.” In: Wills, Clair: Improprieties. Politics and Sexuality in Northern Irish Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993, 158-193


Haughton, Hugh: The Poetry of Derek Mahon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007

Horton, Patricia: “Degree Zero: Language, Subjectivity and Apocalypse in the Poetry of Derek Mahon.” Irish Studies Review, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2000, 353-365

Donnelly, Brian, ed.: Special Issue: Derek Mahon. Irish University Review, Vol. 24, No 1, Spring/Summer 1994

Kennedy-Andrews, Elmer: The Poetry of Derek Mahon. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 2002

McGuinness, Arthur E.: “Cast a Wary Eye: Derek Mahon's Classical Perspective.” The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 17, British Poetry since 1945 Special Number, 1987, 128-142

requirements & assessment

Assignments: (1) Every Monday students should submit a response journal reflecting on the poems of the coming week. (2) Students will be assigned several minor oral presentations during the course, plus (3) a research paper (15.000 n) has to be submitted. Topics will be negotiated individually. Grading will be based on performance in class and on the written work.