A List of Recommended Modern Irish Poems




Samuel Beckett
Evan Boland
“The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me”
“The Latin Lesson”
Ciaran Carson
“Belfast Confetti”
Seamus Heaney
“The Tollund Man”
Patrick Kavanagh
“Spraying the Potatoes”
Thomas Kinsella
Michael Longley
“The Linen Industry”
Derek Mahon
“A Disused Shed in County Wexford”
Medbh McGuckian
“The Flower Master”
Paula Meehan
“Death of a Field”
John Montague
“The Trout”
Paul Muldoon
“Meeting the British”
“Milkweed and Monarch”
Richard Murphy
“The Philosopher and the Birds”
Mary O’Malley
“The Pearl Sonnet”
Eilean Ni Chuilleanian
“Vierge Ouvrante”
Nuala Ni Dhomniall
“The Language Issue”
William Butler Yeats
“Sailing to Byzantium”
“The Second Coming”
“Easter 1916”

I can easily think of another ten poets whose work might belong in this sampler and of several deserving alternative by some of the chosen poets, but I’m guessing all of the above poems have champions out there. If anyone would like to suggest a poem or two to expand the list, please let me know below or at Shenandoah@wlu.edu. Meanwhile, slainte, and happy St. Patrick’s Day/Week/Month/Season.

Rod Smith

recent-meR. T. Smith has edited Shenandoah since 1995 and serves as Writer-in-Residence at Washington & Lee. His forthcoming books are Doves in Flight: 13 Fictions and Summoning Shades: New Poems, both due in 2017.