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Collected Poems | Denis Devlin
Collected Poems | Denis Devlin

Collected Poems | Denis Devlin

By Denis Devlin, Edited by J.C.C Mays, Preface By J.C.C Mays


365 Pages, 6.25 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $26.95)

Publication Date: August 1990

ISBN 9780916390372

Rights: US & CA

Wake Forest University Press (Aug 1990)

Price: $19.95


Denis Devlin’s Collected Poems brings together the poems and translations published during his lifetime. Arranged around his three major collections—two which he oversaw and a third he did not live to complete—the result is an extensive and accomplished body of poetry where imagery is shifting and evocative. As J. C. C. Mays writes in his Introduction, “sense is elided, meaning is syncopated, because it has to be.” It is the achievement of “energy consistently applied to a purpose which takes manifold directions. When the effect succeeds, it is exhilarating in a way few poets can rival.”

Author Biography

Born in 1908, Denis Devlin was an urbane, complex, and uniquely gifted predecessor to the current generation of Irish poets. Like Beckett and Joyce (whose footsteps he followed at Belvedere and University College Dublin and then on to Paris), Devlin rejected the narrowly provincial ambitions of the Irish Literary Revival, looking beyond the confines of Ireland to define his purposes. All three writers found their best readers in mixed, international circles; Devlin was embraced in America by Robert Penn Warren and Allen Tate, who favorably compared his long poem Lough Derg to Steven’s Sunday Morning, Eliot’s Gerontian, and Crane’s The Broken Tower.Yet to describe Devlin only as a European, late modernists ignore the fact that he was nevertheless distinctively Irish. He was Ireland’s first ambassador to Rome and headed legations in America and Turkey. A major translator of St. John Perse and of German and Italian poets into English, he also translated French poetry into Irish.