The First World War in Irish Poetry

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Bucknell University Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 309 pages
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Drawing on the work of over thirty Irish poets whose careers span the twentieth century, from soldier poets like Francis Ledwidge to influential figures like Yeats, Joyce, and Heaney, Jim Haughey's The First World War in Irish Poetry provides the first comprehensive book-length study devoted to how Irish poets write the Great War. While the book surveys a startling range of viewpoints expressed about the war from an Irish perspective, it also explores the extent to which Irish memory of the war has been politicized to serve warring political ideologies. By presenting a wide reading of the poets' war poetry, Haughey illustrates how inaccurate memories of the war further exacerbate existing political divisions and intensify sectarian hatred in Northern Ireland. A recurring preoccupation of the book is its exploration of the extent to which Irish war poetry (and popular culture) is suffused with unionist and nationalist mythographies which either read the war as a glorious imperial sacrifice or largely ignore it as a colonial sideshow to the Easter Rebellion.

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