Sympathetic Ink: Intertextual Relations in Northern Irish Poetry


Northern Irish poets have been notably reticent when addressing political issues in their work. In Sympathetic Ink, Shane Alcobia-Murphy traces that tendency through the works of Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and Medbh McGuckian.

Using collections of the poets' papers made only recently available, Alcobia-Murphy focuses on the oblique, subtle strategies they apply to critique contemporary political issues. He employs the concept of sympathetic ink, or invisible ink, arguing that rather than avoiding politics, these poets have, via complex intertextual references and resonances, woven them deeply into the formal construction of their works.

Acute and learned, Sympathetic Ink will serve as a perfect introduction to these crucial figures of Irish poetry.