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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Collected Poems | Louis MacNeice

$23.95

It is no longer necessary—and not before time—to “make a case” for MacNeice as a poet. He had a couple of decades of fame, and more of comparative neglect, but his contemporaries read him poorly on the whole, even when they were most appreciative: as a “30s poet” or “journalist,” as the author of a few near-perfect lyrics, and even as a “professional lachrymose Irishman.” Fortunately, errors of this order no longer need detailed correction. More to the point, it is the generations of poets, in Ireland as well as Britain, who have learned so much from MacNeice—formally, as well as in other ways—who provide the most potent argument for his poetry’s continuing life. Two Irish poets in particular—Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon—would be unrecognisable without MacNeice’s example and influence; and others, from later Irish generations still, are continuing to discover and make creative use of resources in the poems of this writer who died before they were born.

– from Peter McDonald’s Introduction to the US edition


Reviews

“MacNeice’s . . . reputation has been steadily rising for 20 years in Britain and Ireland, in part because of vigorous support from Irish writers like Edna Longley, Paul Muldoon, and Derek Mahon. MacNeice’s Collected Poems has finally been published in the United States, where readers will now have a chance to approach this underestimated writer on his own terms. . . . What we most want, MacNeice suggests, is simply to ‘know each other better,’ but that possibility depends on laboring blindly through darkness. With the publication of Collected Poems, MacNeice’s own excavation is now complete; readers who meet him halfway will find a passage that opens and opens and opens.”

– David Orr, New York Times Book Review

 

SKU: 978-1-930630-63-5 Categories: ,

Description

It is no longer necessary—and not before time—to “make a case” for MacNeice as a poet. He had a couple of decades of fame, and more of comparative neglect, but his contemporaries read him poorly on the whole, even when they were most appreciative: as a “30s poet” or “journalist,” as the author of a few near-perfect lyrics, and even as a “professional lachrymose Irishman.” Fortunately, errors of this order no longer need detailed correction. More to the point, it is the generations of poets, in Ireland as well as Britain, who have learned so much from MacNeice—formally, as well as in other ways—who provide the most potent argument for his poetry’s continuing life. Two Irish poets in particular—Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon—would be unrecognisable without MacNeice’s example and influence; and others, from later Irish generations still, are continuing to discover and make creative use of resources in the poems of this writer who died before they were born.

– from Peter McDonald’s Introduction to the US edition


Reviews

“MacNeice’s . . . reputation has been steadily rising for 20 years in Britain and Ireland, in part because of vigorous support from Irish writers like Edna Longley, Paul Muldoon, and Derek Mahon. MacNeice’s Collected Poems has finally been published in the United States, where readers will now have a chance to approach this underestimated writer on his own terms. . . . What we most want, MacNeice suggests, is simply to ‘know each other better,’ but that possibility depends on laboring blindly through darkness. With the publication of Collected Poems, MacNeice’s own excavation is now complete; readers who meet him halfway will find a passage that opens and opens and opens.”

– David Orr, New York Times Book Review

 

Additional information

Publication date:

2013

Binding: