Michael Hartnett’s Selected and New Poems reveals a crucial body of work in Irish poetry.
It includes a number of his precocious lyrics (poems written in his teens); exquisite love poems and early elegies; some pastoral poems and, later, farewells to pastoral. Hartnett’s celebrated declaration to write in Irish introduces a series of translations and announces the more public arguments of subsequent poems in English. The book concludes with five extended parables about salvation and the artistic life. It is irrefutable evidence of a singular dedication and achievement.
Hartnett’s formal, courtly, gestures, his spare, proud rhetoric address an audience they themselves define, create. Precisely because it is so concerned to locate a sustaining homeland, it’s a poetry, ultimately, of ferocious homelessness and restlessness.
— Peter Sirr, The Irish Times
. . . the best kept secret in Irish poetry, plying a disctinctive music enriched by its intricate negotiation with English and Gaelic. Hartnett has developed a poetics of failure which calls forth the richest resources of his disappointed romanticism and satiric hauteur . . . one of the most import bodies of work in the contemporary field.
— Poetry Ireland Review
‘One of the truest, most tested and beloved voices in Irish poetry in our time.’
— Seamus Heaney
‘. . . heartwarmingly human with here and there a hint of that brave, rounded humanity which earns the right to be called divine.’
— Brendan Kennelly, Poetry Ireland Review
Year Published: 1994
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 118 2