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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

The Soldiers of Year II

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While The Soldiers of Year II is not overtly militant or nationalist, in poem after poem the enforced forms of peace seem only an inversion of those of the prior war. In these poems persists a suggestion that has come through in each of McGuckian’s recent volumes: while the body may become a shared prison, nevertheless through its agency, through its ability, literally to act, the suffering and even the dead may find, if not release, then at least a common language.

Note on the cover: The cover is an image of Thomas Ashe between guards at Kilmainham, 1916.


Reviews

“Her use of metaphor is freer and more extravagant than anything I’ve read recently in American or English poetry, and her poems work wonders through simile. . . . For readers able to suspend the tendency to grasp at explication and who can enjoy the drama of shifting identities and the play of imagination, these poems are not to be missed.”
– Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review

“McGuckian is . . . in her radical reconfiguring of English poetic conventions, imaginatively liberating the language of Northern Ireland from its old agonies. If there is a more audacious and important poetry being written today, I have not read it.”
– Kate Daniels, The Southern Review

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Description

While The Soldiers of Year II is not overtly militant or nationalist, in poem after poem the enforced forms of peace seem only an inversion of those of the prior war. In these poems persists a suggestion that has come through in each of McGuckian’s recent volumes: while the body may become a shared prison, nevertheless through its agency, through its ability, literally to act, the suffering and even the dead may find, if not release, then at least a common language.

Note on the cover: The cover is an image of Thomas Ashe between guards at Kilmainham, 1916.


Reviews

“Her use of metaphor is freer and more extravagant than anything I’ve read recently in American or English poetry, and her poems work wonders through simile. . . . For readers able to suspend the tendency to grasp at explication and who can enjoy the drama of shifting identities and the play of imagination, these poems are not to be missed.”
– Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review

“McGuckian is . . . in her radical reconfiguring of English poetic conventions, imaginatively liberating the language of Northern Ireland from its old agonies. If there is a more audacious and important poetry being written today, I have not read it.”
– Kate Daniels, The Southern Review

Additional information

Publication date:

2002

Binding:

,