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Reading the ground : the poetry of Thomas Kinsella

Author: Brian John
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America Press, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this comprehensive study of Thomas Kinsella's poetry, Brian John explores the poet's development within both the Irish and the English contexts and defines the nature of his poetic achievement. He also offers a new reading of Kinsella's evolving relationship to one of his major literary forebears, W. B. Yeats. What becomes clear is the formidable accomplishment of a poet, now writing at the height of his powers,
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
John, Brian, 1935-
Reading the ground.
Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America Press, c1996
(OCoLC)603753822
Named Person: Thomas Kinsella; Thomas Kinsella; Thomas Kinsella; Thomas Kinsella
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Brian John
ISBN: 0813208378 9780813208374 0813208386 9780813208381
OCLC Number: 32430786
Description: xii, 275 p. ; 23 cm.
Contents: 1. The Double Shadow --
2. Initiation into Experience --
3. Balance in the Violent Zone --
4. Imaginative Bedrock --
5. Seeing How the Whole Thing Works --
6. Reading the Ground.
Responsibility: Brian John.
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Abstract:

In this comprehensive study of Thomas Kinsella's poetry, Brian John explores the poet's development within both the Irish and the English contexts and defines the nature of his poetic achievement. He also offers a new reading of Kinsella's evolving relationship to one of his major literary forebears, W. B. Yeats. What becomes clear is the formidable accomplishment of a poet, now writing at the height of his powers, whose substantial body of work warrants comparison with the grand masters of twentieth-century literature in English - with Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett.

Beginning with Kinsella's first volume of poetry in 1956 and concluding with his most recent work, From Centre City (1994), John traces the evolution of the poet's style and vision from the formal lyricism of his early volumes, through the long narrative poems of his middle period, to his later sequences of spare, laconic poems that are increasingly rich in polyphony and intertextuality. He finds that the formal structure and mellifluous cadence of Kinsella's early poetry, indebted to the works of past masters like Auden, Eliot, and Yeats, give way to experimentalism, to a dislocated poetry that is often lacking in closure. And, in his later writing, diverse exemplars, ranging from early Irish literature and myth and the eighteenth-century Irish poet Aogan O Rathaille to the psychoanalysis of Jung and the music of Gustav Mahler and Sean O Riada, aid Kinsella in tracing his personal and poetic inheritance.

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