September 24, 2015 - 12:00 am
An exploration of poems written during the Great War (1914-18), from the point of view of successive generations of British and Irish poets who sought to respond to contemporary civil emergencies, such as the Second Word War (1939-45), or the “Troubles” of Northern Ireland (c. 1968-94). The legacy of poets such as Edward Thomas (1878-1917), Wilfrid Owen (1893-1918), and Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), will be considered, both in terms of how they departed from established poetic conventions, and how they influenced later writers, such as Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), Michael Longley (b. 1939), and Geoffrey Hill (b. 1932). Topics to be discussed include authenticity and authority, form and formality, experience and witness, the personal and the public, and the role of the poet in (sometimes against) society.