The Renaissance of Irish Poetry: 1880-1930

The Renaissance of Irish Poetry: 1880-1930

The Renaissance of Irish Poetry: 1880-1930

The Renaissance of Irish Poetry: 1880-1930

Excerpt

It is always difficult to set a date for the beginning of a spiritual or imaginative development. Faint stirrings and gestures are present, certain directions taken, before these phenomena rise to the level of historical notice, and, afterwards, they are still lost to historical perspective. The seed is working in the soil long before its first slender spear is perceptible, and even in retrospect the faint beginnings cannot be assigned to a given moment. It is frequently possible, though, in literary movements, to name a date after which--for one reason and another-- the phenomenon took definite shape and direction and proportions, and so assumed, recognizably, a character.

Historians with an understanding of the motivation and significance of the Irish Renaissance are inclined to set 1880 as the date when that movement began. The selection is open to the objections implied above. Yet, in the circumstances . . .

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