The overarching purpose of this volume is to show how a discrete tradition of writing about Lough Derg, a pilgrimage site in northwest Ireland, helped contemporary Irish poets rescue free, metaphysical inquiry from the grip of nationalism. Linked with the supernatural pagan times, Lough Derg had by the early twentieth century become an icon of the fusion of the Catholic Church and the Irish nation. Surveying treatments of Lough Derg from William Carleton through Denis Devlin, Patrick Kavanaugh, and ultimately Seamus Heaney, Peggy O'Brien addresses the role of spirituality in an increasingly cosmopolitan, postmodern, post-Catholic Ireland. Her extended treatment of Heaney culminates in an insightful juxtaposition with the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, who also struggled with the conflation of Catholicism and patriotism.
Author: Peggy O'Brien Publisher: Syracuse University Press Published: 09/18/2006 Pages: 312 Binding Type: Paperback Weight: 1.33lbs Size: 10.10h x 7.08w x 0.72d ISBN: 9780815630982
About the Author Peggy O'Brien teaches in the English Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of the poetry collection, Sudden Thaw, and the editor of the Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry, 1969-2000. She regularly publishes essays on contemporary Irish poetry.