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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

The Essential Brendan Kennelly: Selected Poems

$15.95

The Essential Brendan Kennelly is at turns a lush and jubilant, wintry and harsh collection of poems. It provides a convincing outline of the poet’s growth from an early lyric genius who was sensitive to discordance into the epic poet who, as the editors observe, combined the “note of awe-struck lyricism” with “notes of disgust, fierce satire, sardonic bitterness” and “self-laceration.” As Kennelly himself explains in The Book of Judas, “The best way to serve the age is to betray it.” This satire has since given way to poems that are “comic, desolate, absurd by turns.” Here is the work of a “poet of abundance,” including just over a hundred of his most essential poems, selected by Terence Brown and Michael Longley.

Edited and with an Introduction by Terence Browne and Michael Longley; Includes an audio CD of the poet reading his work


Reviews

“He is the people’s poet . . . He asks impossible questions and suggests unthinkable answers about the things that really matter. And he refuses to be precious or out of touch with the rest of us.”
– Jim Farrelly, Sunday Tribune (Dublin)

“From the outset he was a poet with a mission: his affinity with Kavanagh is obvious, he is the poet of ‘proper praise’ but he also knows when to unleash the scathing utterance, the Swiftian lash—against whatever: pomp, sanctimony, falsehood, the self-regarding ego, the vulnerability of society’s victims. There is no posturing, his attacks are full-blooded . . . There are certain Kennelly poems that surely afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted.”
Gerard Smyth, Poetry Ireland Review

SKU: 978-1-930630-57-4 Categories: ,

Description

The Essential Brendan Kennelly is at turns a lush and jubilant, wintry and harsh collection of poems. It provides a convincing outline of the poet’s growth from an early lyric genius who was sensitive to discordance into the epic poet who, as the editors observe, combined the “note of awe-struck lyricism” with “notes of disgust, fierce satire, sardonic bitterness” and “self-laceration.” As Kennelly himself explains in The Book of Judas, “The best way to serve the age is to betray it.” This satire has since given way to poems that are “comic, desolate, absurd by turns.” Here is the work of a “poet of abundance,” including just over a hundred of his most essential poems, selected by Terence Brown and Michael Longley.

Edited and with an Introduction by Terence Browne and Michael Longley; Includes an audio CD of the poet reading his work


Reviews

“He is the people’s poet . . . He asks impossible questions and suggests unthinkable answers about the things that really matter. And he refuses to be precious or out of touch with the rest of us.”
– Jim Farrelly, Sunday Tribune (Dublin)

“From the outset he was a poet with a mission: his affinity with Kavanagh is obvious, he is the poet of ‘proper praise’ but he also knows when to unleash the scathing utterance, the Swiftian lash—against whatever: pomp, sanctimony, falsehood, the self-regarding ego, the vulnerability of society’s victims. There is no posturing, his attacks are full-blooded . . . There are certain Kennelly poems that surely afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted.”
Gerard Smyth, Poetry Ireland Review

Additional information

Publication date:

2011