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Jonathan Swift

Irish poetry includes poetry in two languages, Irish and English. The complex interplay between these two traditions, and between both of them and other poetries in English, has produced a body of work that is both rich in variety and difficult to categorise.

The earliest surviving poems in Irish date back to the 6th century, while the first known poems in English from Ireland date to the 14th century. Although there has always been some cross-fertilization between the two language traditions, an English-language poetry that had absorbed themes and models from Irish did not finally emerge until the 19th century. This culminated in the work of the poets of the Irish Literary Revival in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Towards the last quarter of the 20th century, modern Irish poetry tended to a wide range of diversity, from the poets of the Northern school to writers influenced by the modernist tradition and those facing the new questions posed by an increasingly urban and cosmopolitan society.


Irish poetry sections
Intro  Early Irish poetry  Medieval/Early modern  Gaelic poetry in the 17th century  The 18th century  The 19th century  The 20th century  Irish poetry today  Notes  Sources  Further reading  External links  

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