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Poetry (Ireland)

Irish Poetry pic

Hector McDonnell’s drawing (above) shows Patrick Kavanagh riding Kerr’s ass. Despite his (PK’s) popularity, second-hand copies of his books are elusive. This is probably because his poems tend to enter the soul, and few people would ever consider disposing of a volume of his work. That said, we occasionally lay glad hands on his books (which usually show signs of repeated reading), and you may be lucky.

The same goes, of course, for the pantheon of Irish poets in general, and I always have a good selection of their volumes, slim and otherwise, on the shelves here.

There is also a wide range of anthologies of Irish poetry in stock, including dusty tomes from a century and more ago containing verses by dozens of almost forgotten bards. Many of these are surprisingly rewarding, as Hector and I discovered when we were preparing the ‘Other Poetry’ volumes that we published with Lilliput Press some years ago – signed copies of which are of course on sale here: Ireland’s Other Poetry: Anonymous to Zozimus (hardcover, 25 euro), Dublin’s Other Poetry and Ulster’s Other Poetry (paperback, 12 euro each).

It may have been Dr Johnson who defined the anthologist as the lowest form of literary life, but I am proud to have been one, and I suppose I should also mention my Dublin: Poetry of Place, a collection that Eland brought out recently, in which poems and verses are interspersed with my own stray thoughts about them, interesting or not as may be. (Paperback, 8 euro.)

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ir poetry