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Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland$
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Marie-Louise Coolahan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567652.001.0001

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Poetry in Irish

Poetry in Irish

(p.14) 1 Poetry in Irish
Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland

Marie‐Louise Coolahan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines women's authorship and patronage of poetry in Irish. It focuses on the keen (caoineadh), in which the female speaker laments the death of an individual, and amateur syllabic verse, locating both in the context of professional bardic poetry. The chapter demonstrates how Caitilín Dubh, Fionnghuala Ní Bhriain, and Brighid Fitzgerald engaged with bardic tradition and expressed complex positions in relation to gendered and ethnic identity. It analyses the legitimizing contexts for women's authorship of verse, discussing the more prolific Scottish Gaelic context as an important reference point for the understanding of Irish women's compositions. Finally, the chapter explores Irish noblewomen's patronage of poetry, arguing that this evidence throws light on women's critical engagement with bardic culture.

Keywords:   Irish women's poetry, keen, answer‐poem, bardic poetry, Scottish women's poetry, patronage, Caitilín Dubh, Fionnghuala Ní Bhriain, Brighid Fitzgerald

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