¶ … Irish Literature
Ireland has a rich literary tradition with a legacy of authors who have each contributed something to the creation of a cultural identity. For centuries, the authors of Ireland have utilized the beautiful landscape as a counterpoint to the violent political history of the Emerald Isle. Quite literally, the whole history of Ireland can be traced through the literature of the country's writers, both the good and the bad. This tradition lives on in contemporary Irish authors and poets. Two such poets, Ciaran Carson and Allan Gillis, have used their chosen literary type to illustrate their own understanding of Ireland's history. Through their poetry, readers can simultaneously travel back in time and also listen to the eye witness of Ireland's current historical moment. This can be traced through Carson's "Belfast Confetti" and Gillis's "The Ulster Way" in the poetic form, the techniques that the poets utilize, and then finally the subject matter of the poems themselves.
In the Ciaran Carson poem, the author has broken the poem into two stanzas. The first stanza is comprised of five lines and the second stanza has only four. The effect is to divide the poem into two parts of a narrative; both are from the perspective of the anonymous...
Each of the lines of the poem appears to be approximately equal in length making the poem seem more formal, but that also breaks apart in the second stanza, creating an appearance that the poem and thus the narrative of the piece is somehow off-balance. Counter this with the poetic form of the Allan Gillis poem. Just from the appearance, this seems to be a more traditional poem. There are three stanzas each with seven lines. Here too, however, closer examine reveals that this is not a traditional poem. The capitalization of the piece is odd. Usually the first word of a new line is capitalized but in this poem the second stanza of the piece is not capitalized.
Each of the poets chooses interesting poetic techniques in order to further the narrative and illustrate the meaning of the poem. In "Belfast Confetti," Carson uses nontraditional punctuation of the lines to heighten the off-kilter form of the poem. The punctuation of a poem will traditionally be that the end of each line will either have a period or a comma. In Carson's poem, some of the lines do end with the expected punctuation, but there are some lines without. There are also commas, dashes, and periods in the middle of lines, all of which serve to alter the equilibrium of the poem. This shows that the language of the poem is instead intended to be disjointed, adding to the feeling that this is an argument between two sides of one individual self. Unlike traditional poetry, and similar to the first poem, the lines of the Gillis piece have neither a rhyme scheme nor do they have a rhythmic pattern. The narrator of this poem also seems to be discoursing in the first person although there are…
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