1st Edition

Post-Romantic Aesthetics in Contemporary British and Irish Poetry

By Stefanie John Copyright 2021
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book demonstrates the legacies of Romanticism which animate the poetry and poetics of Eavan Boland, Gillian Clarke, John Burnside, and Kathleen Jamie. It argues that the English Romantic tradition serves as a source of inspiration and critical contention for these Irish, Welsh, and Scottish poets, and it relates this engagement to wider concerns with gender, nation, and nature which have shaped contemporary poetry in Britain and Ireland. Covering a substantial number of works from the 1980s to the 2010s, the book discusses how Boland and Clarke, as women poets from the Republic of Ireland and Wales, react to a male-dominated and Anglocentric lyric tradition and thus rework notions of the Romantic. It examines how Burnside and Jamie challenge, adopt, and revise Romantic aesthetics of nature and environment. The book is the first in-depth study to read Boland, Clarke, Burnside, and Jamie as post-Romantics. By disentangling the aesthetic and critical conceptions of Romanticism which inform their inheritance, it develops an innovative approach to the understanding of contemporary poetry and literary influence.

    1 Introduction

    2 The Romantic Ideology and its Persistence in Contemporary Poetry

    3 Eavan Boland’s Challenge to the "Romantic Heresy"

    4 Layered Aesthetics in Gillian Clarke’s Poetry

    5 Proposing the Impossible: Poetry as Ecology in John Burnside’s Works

    6 Kathleen Jamie’s Post-Romantic Formations of Nature

    7 Conclusion: Dialogues and Afterlives


    Stefanie John is Lecturer in English Literature and Culture at Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany.