Best Loved Poems: Favourite Poems from the South of Ireland is an anthology from the province of Munster, lovingly curated by Gabriel Fitzmaurice and illuminated by photography from John Reidy. This collection of poetry, comprising contemporary favourites, ninth-century poems, popular songs and ballads, some written in English and some translated from their original Irish, will delight the general reader and the poetry specialist alike.
The poetry in this book articulates the passions of Munster women and men, opening a window to the soul of Ireland. It sings of love and death, religion and spirituality, faith and doubt, of mothers, fathers and their children.
There are political poems, in particular “The Betrayal”, a passionate account by President Michael D. Higgins of the failure of the Irish state that grew out of the struggle for independence in the period 1916-1921. There are poems that embody and celebrate the spirit of Munster men and women throughout the ages, from the ninth-century ‘The Old Woman Beare’, translated lovingly from Irish by Brendan Kennelly, to Leanne O’Sullivan’s contemporary celebration of her grandmother’s life and death, ‘Last Rites’.
There are cursing poems, homages to the Irish language and to our native games of Gaelic football and hurling, as well as poems of poverty and emigration.
Poems from nationally and internationally acclaimed Munster poets, past and present, mingle happily on these pages with the work of beloved poets from the younger generation to create a moving, memorable and accessible collection that will engage the mind and stir the heart.
Includes contributions from President Michael D. Higgins, Brendan Kennelly, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Paul Muldoon, Bernard O’Donoghue, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Michael Hartnett, John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, John O’Donohue, Brian Merriman, Eibhlín Dhubh Ní Chonaill, Desmond O’Grady, Dáibhí Ó Bruadair.