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Louis MacNeice and the Irish Poetry of his Time$
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Tom Walker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745150

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745150.001.0001

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Racial and Regional Rhythms

Racial and Regional Rhythms

(p.47) 2 Racial and Regional Rhythms
Louis MacNeice and the Irish Poetry of his Time

Tom Walker

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the time that MacNeice spent in Ireland, North and South, at the beginning and end of the Second World War. It explores his poetry’s engagement with Irish poetics that stress the importance of a link between the poet and a particular place, race, or community. In its first section, it shows how MacNeice in 1939 was not only in Ireland but interacting intellectually and creatively with its poetry, as was then reflected in his own work. This was particularly the case through his friendship with F.R. Higgins and his work on his study of Yeats. The second section considers the period MacNeice spent in Northern Ireland in 1945. It shows how this led to an engagement with Ulster regionalism and particularly the poetry and polemic of John Hewitt in several of the poems that MacNeice composed at the time.

Keywords:   Cultural nationalism, neutrality, war, Ulster regionalism, F.R. Higgins, John Hewitt

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