The Irish Famine as Represented in Nineteenth-Century Literature Famine Poetry - Essay

Famine Poetry

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Chris Morash (essay date 1989)

SOURCE: An introduction to The Hungry Voice: The Poetry of the Irish Famine, edited by Chris Morash, Irish Academic Press, 1989, pp. 15-39.

[In the following survey of Famine poetry, Morash claims that the Famine "left the poets of the 1840s abandoned by tradition," citing the difficulties the poets experienced trying to respond to the enormous tragedy and the fact that the subject matter resisted the Victorian poetic tendency to marry form with meaning.]

It is not the literal past, the 'facts' of history' that shape us,
but images of the past embodied in language.'

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