The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry features the work of the greatest Irish poets, from the monks of the ancient monasteries to the Nobel laureates W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, from Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith to Eilean Ni Chuilleanain and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, along with a profusion of lyrics, love poems, satires, ballads and songs. Reflecting Ireland's complex past and lively present, this collection of Irish verse is an indispensable guide to the history, culture and romance of one of Europe's oldest civilizations.
In his introduction to this new Penguin Classics edition, Patrick Crotty explores the traditions of poetry in Ireland, and relates the rich variety of the poems to the long and frequently troubled history of the island.
Patrick Crotty is a Professor of Scottish and Irish Literature at the University of Aberdeen and a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement. His translations from seventeenth-, eighteenth- and twentieth-century Irish verse have appeared in many anthologies. He edited Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology and is currently co-editing with Alan Riach the annotated three-volume Complete Collected Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid. Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry, Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first book, appeared in 1966 and since then he has published poetry, criticism and translations which have established him as one of the most acclaimed writers of our time. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.