Cover image for Ireland's love poems : wonder and a wild desire
Ireland's love poems : wonder and a wild desire
Jeffares, A. Norman (Alexander Norman), 1920-2005.
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxix, 353 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR8861.L6 I74 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



All poets share a common task: to define, to memorialize, and never to exhaust the subject of love. Ireland's Love Poems highlights one country's extraordinary poetic tradition, in both the English and Irish languages, by male and female poets, both ancient and modern. Emotions of every kind are embodied in this celebration of love's pleasures and pains, in forms ranging from complex ancient Irish ballads to forthright contemporary feminist verse. These poems consider romance in all its stages: from the thrills of young love to the commitments of marriage, from grief to amorous rebirth, from affection to idolatry. The result is a cumulative portrait of love that mirrors Irish history in its complexity.Included in this diverse selection are Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge, Samuel Beckett, Patrick Kavanagh, Thomas Kinsella, Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, and Nuala N#65533; Dhomhnaill.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Editor Jeffares' excellent anthology includes work from the Irish (in translations by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and Michael Longley), Anglo-Irish (including Jonathan Swift and his Stella, Oscar Wilde and his mother, Speranza), and contemporary (Seamus Heaney, Siobhan Campbell) skeins of Irish verse. Most impressively, it includes a significant number of poems by Irish women, which qualifies it as the most comprehensive available collection of its kind. In addition to this impressive evenhandedness, Jeffares has selected superlatively well work that is expressive of its time and tradition yet still speaks to timeless human experience. From swooning infatuation to comfortable married love, from the bliss of love returned to love bitterly rejected, the poems cover the amative territory. And it is a joy to find among the many unfamiliar lyrics some so well-known as to have become invisible: "Do You Remember That Night" and "I Know Where I'sm Going" suddenly come alive again when surrounded by these new fellows. Collections of Irish poetry don't get any better than this. --Patricia Monaghan

Publisher's Weekly Review

A chorus of Irish voices exalt and bemoan romance in Ireland's Love Poems. Major players are here (Jonathan Swift and William Congreve, W.B. Yeats and Samuel Beckett, Paul Muldoon and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill) along with scores of others from the pagan period to the present day. The tremendous diversity of forms, styles and perspectives gives readers a whirlwind tour of Irish literary history, as well as a long record of the endless search for "a nymph that was chaste, or a swain that was true." ( Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved