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Collected Poems

Collected Poems

Michael Hartnett

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Hartnett was a poet of the world and a twentieth-century Irishman; he never forgot either identity. Patricia Monaghan

Hartnett, whose recent death was mourned by all lovers of the Irish language, is best known for the poem "Farewell to English," in which he bid that "perfect language to sell pigs in" adieu and vowed to write thereafter only in the "language of my people."

Ironically, the poems in this fine retrospective appear only in that pig-selling language, reflecting the fact that Hartnett crept back to it in his later work. Even in English, his work is dense with the sensuality and passion of Irish, and the natural and human worlds so close to one another that what might otherwise be metaphor seems sheer factual statement.

Hartnett's gift lies in the way he plays with themes and images far removed from an antiquated Irishness, so that in his work Greek gods and cigarettes, garlic and Sibelius, New York taxis and origami find their places beside country paths and dancing at crossroads.

Additional Information

Author Michael Hartnett
Publisher Gallery Press
Publication date 28 Dec 2001
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781852352950

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