Becker, Daniel. (2021)
Whether in the form of idealised ancient times or the representation of more recent political events, Irish national history often obtained a central position in the work of many Irish poets throughout the twentieth century. In more recent years, however, these strong ties between poetry and history appear to have been severed: As current research suggests, many contemporary Irish poets, who started publishing their works around the year 2000, have turned their poetic focus away from national concerns and, thus, have exchanged the topic of Irish national history for a more 'post-national' present-day perspective. Yet, this impression is misleading, as the present book will show. By analysing selected poems by Iggy McGovern, Tom French, Vona Groarke, Martina Evans, Leanne O’Sullivan, Paul Perry, Lorna Shaughnessy, Paula Cunningham, as well as the more intensively researched writers Paula Meehan and Paul Durcan, this study will argue that Irish history still finds its proper place in the work of contemporary Irish poets. More specifically, this book will focus on one of the most dominant ways of remembering Ireland's past in recent poetry: the negotiation of history via liminal remembrance, which refers to the observation that many contemporary Irish poems represent aspects of Irish history in between being remembered and being forgotten at the same time.