Vol. 9 No. 9 (2019): Whose Homelands? Fictions, Facts and Questions of the Irish Diaspora
Voci / Voices

Detached Lyricism and Universal Rootedness: A Critical Introduction to the Poetry of Pat Boran

Pilar Villar-Argáiz
Laboratorio editoriale OA / Dip. LILSI
Published June 12, 2019
How to Cite
Villar-Argáiz, P. (2019). Detached Lyricism and Universal Rootedness: A Critical Introduction to the Poetry of Pat Boran. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 9(9), 547-562. https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-25529

Abstract

Pat Boran is one of the most versatile, polyvalent and innovative voices in contemporary Irish poetry. In spite of his prolific career as a poet, editor, and fiction writer, and the positive reviews his work has received over the years (i.e. Smith 2007; Linke 2009; Dempsey 2011; Cornejo 2016; Kehoe 2018), Boran has received very little critical attention in Irish Studies. This critical introduction intends to cover this gap in academia, by offering a more detailed critical appraisal of a poetic voice largely underrated within Irish literary criticism, as O’Driscoll (2007, xiv-xv) laments in his introduction to his Selected Poems. In particular, I will offer a brief critical overview of Boran’s six collections of poetry, and I will concentrate on several aspects which seem to distinguish him as a writer: his sense of “detached lyricism” (that is to say, his intensive biographical but at the same time impersonal style); the importance that local rootedness exerts in his work; and his idiosyncratic way of handling themes such as masculinity.

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