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Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry: Hardy to Mahon

Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry: Hardy to Mahon

Michael O'Neill (Editor), Madeleine Callaghan (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-21510-3

Jan 2011, Wiley-Blackwell

312 pages

In Stock



Featuring contributions from some of the major critics of contemporary poetry, Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry offers an accessible, imaginative, and highly stimulating body of critical work on the evolution of British and Irish poetry in the twentieth-century
  • Covers all the poets most commonly studied at university level courses
  • Features criticisms of British and Irish poetry as seen from a wide variety of perspectives, movements, and historical contexts
  • Explores current debates about contemporary poetry, relating them to the volume's larger themes
  • Edited by a widely respected poetry critic and award-winning poet


1 Modern Poetry: Transition and Trauma (Thomas Hardy, Edward Thomas and Wilfred Owen).

Thomas Hardy
Extract from British Poetry in the Age of Modernism (Peter Howarth).

Edward Thomas
Extract from The Poetry of Edward Thomas (Andrew Motion).

Wilfred Owen
Extract from Poetry of Mourning (Jahan Ramazani).

2 Forms of Modernism: Things Fall Apart (W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence).

W. B. Yeats
Extract from Our Secret Discipline (Helen Vendler).

T. S. Eliot
Extract from He Do the Police in Different Voices (Calvin Bedient).

D. H. Lawrence
Extract from 'Hibiscus and Salvia Flowers' (Tom Paulin).

3 Poetry of the Thirties: Between Two Fires (W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and Stephen Spender).

W. H. Auden
Extract from 'The 1930s Poetry of W. H. Auden' (Michael O'Neill).

Louis MacNeice
Extract from Louis MacNeice (Peter McDonald).

Stephen Spender
Extracts from The Ironic Harvest (Geoffrey Thurley).

4 Poetry of the Forties: Realism and Rhetoric (Keith Douglas and Dylan Thomas).

Keith Douglas
Extract from 'I in Another Place' (Geoffrey Hill).

Dylan Thomas
Extract from The Romantic Survival (John Bayley).

5 Post-War Poetry: Feature less Morning, Featureless Night (Philip Larkin and the Movement).

Philip Larkin
Extract from Out of Reach (Andrew Swarbrick).

The Movement
Extract from The Movement (Blake Morrison).

6 Beyond the Movement: No Bloodless Myth (Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Geoffrey Hill).

Ted Hughes
Extract from 'Ted Hughes: The Double Voice' (Margaret Dickie).

Sylvia Plath
Extract from Sylvia Plath and the Theatre of Mourning (Christina Britzolakis).

Geoffrey Hill
Extract from 'History to the Defeated' (Alan Robinson).

7 Situated Sequences and Marginal Voices (Basil Bunting, Hugh MacDiarmid, Thomas Kinsella, Stevie Smith and Tony Harrison).

Hugh MacDiarmid, Thomas Kinsella, and Basil Bunting
Extracts from The Modern Poetic Sequence (M. L. Rosenthal and Sally M. Gall).

Stevie Smith
Extract from A History of Twentieth-Century British Women's Poetry (Jane Dowson and Alice Entwistle).

Tony Harrison
Extract from The Poetry of Tony Harrison (Luke Spencer).

8 Northern Irish Poetry: The Poles of Our Condition (Seamus Heaney and Derek Mahon).

Seamus Heaney
Extracts from The Poetry of Seamus Heaney (Neil Corcoran).

Derek Mahon
Extract from Poetry in the Wars (Edna Longley).


Recommended Reading.


“The editors have admirably carried out their self-imposed tasks ... The somewhat complicated arrangement is amply justified if one considers the work as a classroom tool, aimed primarily at giving a student audience food for thought, Helen Goethals.”  (Cercles, 2012)