Irish Poetry from Moore to Yeats examines the work of seven of the most significant Irish poets of the nineteenth century. Beginning with the impact that Thomas Moore's nationalist sentiment and generalised tone had on the language of poetry for much of the century, Dr. Welch then discusses J. J. Callanan’s attempt to deal with a Byronic restlessness and his startling translations from the Gaelic. He shows how James Clarence Mangan tested out different ‘voices’ to express his psychic plurality and discovered a special freedom in his versions of Gaelic originals. He describes the foundering of Samuel Ferguson’s vision of the reconciliation of Gaelic and Protestant traditions and demonstrates how the transcendental Catholicism of Aubrey de Vere mirrored Ireland’s historical difficulties. He surveys William Allingham's scope, fairmindedness and attention to detail, and lastly considers the comprehensive power of W. B. Yeats’s searching, qualifying imagination that informs his early work.
A tradition emerges, composite, flawed, passionate, rhetorical, anxious; its intricate entanglements underlie many of the preoccupations of twentieth century Irish life and writing.
1. Thomas Moore: An Elegiac Silence
2. J. J. Callanan: A Provincial Romantic
3. James Clarence Mangan: 'Apples from the Dead Sea Shore'
4. Sir Samuel Ferguson: The Two Races of Ireland
5. Aubrey de Vere: An Attempt at a Catholic Humanity
6. William Allingham: 'The power and zest of all appearance'
7. Yeats and Oisin
List of Works Cited