Befitting Enblems: The Early 1970s

Heather Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the early 1970s, Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland experienced violence because of the Troubles. The year 1972 saw thousands of shootings and explosions that killed nearly 500 people and injured 5,000 others. This escalating sectarian violence thrust Northern Ireland and Irish poets onto the international limelight. Many Irish poets, including W. B. Yeats and Louis MacNeice, wrote during the Troubles. Form played an important role in several Irish collections in the early 1970s, particularly John Montague's The Rough Field, Thomas Kinsella's Butcher's Dozen: A Lesson for the Octave of Widgery, Derek Mahon's The Snow Party, Seamus Heaney's North, and Eavan Boland's The War Horse. Although Irish poets showed aversion to writing ‘Troubles poetry’, the political situation in Northern Ireland formed the presiding preoccupation of these collections. The Rough Field combines protest and postmodern collage, marking a new direction in Irish poetry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry
EditorsFran Brearton, Alan Gillis
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780191750410
ISBN (Print)9780199561247
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press


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