Forgotten Beauty: Irish Love Poetry Across the Centuries


Forgotten Beauty is an anthology of Irish poetry from earliest times to the present day, accompanied by Irish paintings of distinction. Ireland has a claim to possess the longest continuous literary tradition in Europe. The earliest poem in this book dates from the seventh century, the most recent from the early twenty-first. From poetry composed by anonymous monks in early Christian monasteries through to the modern masters, the tradition of Irish verse has sustained and renewed itself in every generation. Forgotten Beauty presents in gift book form poetry chosen with care and affection. It focuses on the better-known and most popular poems of the major writers, but every reader will also find hidden delights and surprises. It spans the full range of Ireland's poetic achievement in both languages - although the Irish-language poems are given in translation. The poetry is complemented by appropriate paintings from the Irish fine art tradition, one that is often unfairly relegated to a minor place in critical judgements. The excellence of the poetry in this book speaks for itself. The paintings, many by contemporary artists, are, however, an integral part of Forgotten Beauty, and demonstrate that there is another Irish artistic tradition which, although not as celebrated as its poetry, can claim excellence in its own right.

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