The Poetics of Return: Five Contemporary Irish Poets and America Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Martin, Seth M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • A thematic study grounded in transnational and transatlantic studies of modern and postmodern literatures, this dissertation examines five contemporary Irish poets - John Montague, Padraic Fiacc, James Liddy, Seamus Heaney, and Eavan Boland - whose separation from Ireland in the United States has produced a distinct body of work that I call, the poetics of return. As the biological heirs of the Civil War generation and the intellectual heirs of the Irish high modernists, these poets are some of the leading lights of the renaissance in Irish literary arts after midcentury. This dissertation argues that an important aspect of this era has been its reevaluation of narratives of political and artistic exile; those created by nationalists and republicans, on the one hand, and modernists such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, on the other. Drawing on the criticism of Patrick Ward and Seamus Deane, I argue that the atomization of the critical vocabulary of exile has enabled modern poets greater means to consider the cultural anxieties surrounding their separation from Ireland. Accordingly they have become less interested in the meaning of leaving Ireland and more interested in the meaning of return. This project engages a range of scholarly literature devoted to the Irish poets and poetry of the last half century and reevaluates a number of standard readings and assumptions.
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  • In Copyright
  • Lensing, George S.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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