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Over the last two centuries, Ireland has produced some of the world's most outstanding and best-loved poets, from Thomas Moore to W. B. Yeats to Seamus Heaney. This introduction not only provides an essential overview of the history and development of poetry in Ireland, but also offers new approaches to aspects of the field. Justin Quinn argues that the language issues of Irish poetry have been misconceived and re-examines the divide between Gaelic and Anglophone poetry. Quinn suggests an alternative to both nationalist and revisionist interpretations and fundamentally challenges existing ideas of Irish poetry. This lucid book offers a rich contextual background against which to read the individual works, and pays close attention to the major poems and poets. Readers and students of Irish poetry will learn much from Quinn's sharp and critically acute account.