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August 15, 2019


#Poetry Ireland Professor of Poetry

by NancyElin

The position of Ireland Professor of Poetry is an academic chair  jointly  administered by three Irish  universities. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (pronunciation: KWILL-en-non) has been chosen for this prestigious position for  three years (2016-2019). A new professor will be appointed soon.





  1. The poems of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (ENC)
  2. are rooted in the past and personal memory
  3. The past is lost but the poet  revives our historical memory.
  4. ENC had been described as the Vermeer of contemporary poetry.
  5. ….I’m very curious  to see what impact ENC will have on me.


Finished: 15.08.2019
Genre: poetry
Rating: A
#TBR list 2019


Title: The Boys of Bluehill   is the first tune she heard her sister play.
…a traditional Irish hornpipe.

Memory shapes creativity in the work of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.
She has an unsentimental mind yet writes with feeling.
She creates a world of compelling narratives that
challenge the reader

Her poems seem to escape to another realm.
If you invest time researching her poems
(figurative images, family background, Irish myths,
the allusions in the poems…
you will be richly rewarded!

Theme: musical core that is closely
connected to ENC’s sister Máire.
She was a musician and died more than 25 years ago.

Best poem: …is about Máire “The Skirt”…haunting
Light poems: about her first grandchild…”Dream Shine” and “Incipit Hodie”
Translated poem: poem based on a “The Lament for the Old Woman Beare”…that gives one the sense of a woman who vanishes as she gets older… “The Song of the Woman of Beare“.
Memory poem: going back to things you didn’t do then…and can’t do now…“I Used to Think
Emotional poem:Passing Palmers Green Station” – family memories, recounts a journey on the London Underground that brings back to the poet’s mind an earlier journey with her mother to visit “…her younger daughter among the dying”.


Last thoughts:

  1. Poems by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
  2. are not easy to understand
  3. …if you don’t have the time
  4. …to appreciate her language skills.
  5. She is truly one of
  6. …the best Irish poets of her generation.


Read more from Ireland, poetry
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 15 2019

    I’d heard of her but have to say have never read any of her poetry. But I’ll look for this collection and try it….. am also intrigued to read what’s in that poem about what you couldn’t do when you were younger and what you can’t do when you’re older …… mine would be a bloody long list!!!!

    • Aug 15 2019

      Col, I loved a quote from the poem you mentioned
      …that sums it all up:
      “…a new step feels higher than the old one…”
      Thanks for you morning comment!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. #TBR Update 15.08.2019 | NancyElin
  2. #TBR 2019 Challenged Finished!! 39/39 | NancyElin

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