Irish Poetry, from the English Invasion to 1798

By Rusell K. Alspach | Go to book overview
Save to active project


THIS book is a history of Irish poetry from the English invasion of 1167 to the closing years of the eighteenth century. My purpose is twofold: to tell the story, from the English invasion to the abortive rebellion of 1798, of the poetry written in English in Ireland that can with justice be called "Irish"; and to show how the stories of Irish mythology and the material of Gaelic poetry were put into English during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, thereby bringing about an Irish poetry more distinctively Irish than anything that had gone before and ultimately giving to William Butler Yeats and his fellow poets much of their inspiration.

The likelihood of a confusion of meaning is ever-present in a title such as "Irish Poetry." And yet that title seems a logical one in view of the other chief possibilities: "Irish Poetry in English" and "Anglo-Irish Poetry." The first of these is open to a number of interpretations; it can mean, for example, poetry written by anyone using the English language who was born in Ireland and lived most or part of his life there. Under this head would come Swift, Tate, Goldsmith, and others--poets who unquestionably belong to English poetry. The second possibility, "Anglo-Irish Poetry," is open to the objection of the limitation of its definition. "Anglo-Irish" means, according to Webster, either persons of English origin or descent living in Ireland, or persons of English and Irish ancestry. No place is left for the native Irishman who learned English and whose descendants knew and spoke English only. It might be pointed out that the numbers of this group increased tremendously during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

We come back, then, to "Irish Poetry"; this term I have used on the precedence of Andrew Malone's Irish Drama,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Irish Poetry, from the English Invasion to 1798


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 146

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?