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Poetics and Polemics: Reading seventeenth-century Irish political verse
Poetics and Polemics: Reading seventeenth-century Irish political verse


 
Our Price:39.00
Authors: Michelle O Riordan
Affiliation: School of Celtic Studies in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
Publication Year: Hardback September 2021
Pages: 234 x 156mm

ISBN: 9781782054436
Qty:

Description
 
Poetics and Polemics is about the polemical presentation of Irish history in five ballad-style poems in Irish in the period c. 1630–1660. The five poems in question have achieved an iconic status as the ''voice'' of the Gaelic Irish in the turbulent mid-century. The book interrogates each element of the poems in the contemporary context, using literary, devotional, official documentation, and polemical sources in Irish, English, Latin and French, where relevant.

Poetics and Polemics presents readings of the poems as literary works, and also as works of contemporary polemic engagement, participating in the vital, vigorous, and multilingual debates of the day. It examines the religious and political loyalties expressed in the poems; it queries the single voice allotted to them. The close readings reveal works that share genre and style essentials, but express, within those constraints, all the nuances, varieties of allegiance, and fractured and tortuous loyalties, that characterized that febrile and convulsed century. Poetics and Polemics completes Professor O Riordan's suite of three works, examining Irish poetry within its genre and historical contexts – The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World (Cork University Press, 1994) and Irish Bardic Poetry and Rhetorical Reality (Cork University Press, 2007) being the other two. Poetics and Polemics re-establishes the multivalent voices subsisting in the mid-century poems, and returns agency and art to their shadowy authors.


Poetics and Polemics is an outstanding and groundbreaking work of scholarship which sets out to provide a proper historical context for, and to present close readings of, the Five Seventeenth-Century Political Poems. Although these politically motivated narrative poems have become a staple requirement for Irish language students since being edited by Cecile O’Rahilly in 1952, they are perhaps less well known to students of history with an interest in this turbulent period of seventeenth-century Ireland, and this work will doubtless ensure that this will no longer be the case.
Breandán Ó Cróinín, Head of Department of Irish, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Poetics and Polemicst is an important book both in terms of Irish history and for our own times insofar as it re-visits, re-thinks and re-analyses a vast number of events, personages, documents, and attitudes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in conjunction with existing theories concerning them and with a nuanced sense of historical synthesis. I believe that they will become the standard translation of Five Seventeenth-Century Political Poems and will engender new studies and considerations of these texts that to date have been inaccessible to many people who have an interest in this period of Irish history.
Emma Nic Cárthaigh, Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College Cork

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