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Last Poems

Thomas Kinsella

Cover of Last Poems by Thomas Kinsella
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Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Irish, War writings
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (136 pages)
(Pub. Feb 2023)
£12.99 £11.69
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(Pub. Feb 2023)
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Last Poems brings together the poems from Thomas Kinsella's five final Peppercanister pamphlets, originally collected as Late Poems (2013), along with a selection of new poems, fragments and revised work which the poet completed before his death in December 2021.

    An iconic figure in Irish literature, Thomas Kinsella was one of the great poets of the last century: his poems' concern with elemental questions, and a poetics which could be equal to them, is evident here in poems drawn from student publications, in his characteristically meditative sequences and in glittering late fragments.

    His work was compared to Joyce's by the New York Times for 'its sense of place [and] quest for coherence and meaning in a dark and precarious world': throughout, the poems face up to pressing concerns, age and mortality, the savage waste of war, the opposing ways in which religion and science frame the human predicament, and how the artist may creatively redeem and, in their work, 'offer the Gift onward'.
    Thomas Kinsella (1928-2021) was born in Dublin in 1928. He was educated at University College, Dublin and entered the Irish Civil Service before becoming a full-time writer and teach in the USA. He was the author of over thirty books of poetry and of essays, and editor of The New Oxford ... read more
    Awards won by Thomas Kinsella Commended, 2007 Poetry Book Society
    (Selected Poems)
    'These are not poems to be read swiftly, relished once and set aside. They are often, for all their music, discomforting. Their uncertainties, questionings and images lure the reader to wonder and return.'
    Kathleen Bell, Everybody's Reviewing
    'Kinsella's lines are beautifully wrought, the stanzas gently rhymed, and the poet, in masterful style, at once delivers and undercuts the 'rhetoric' of beauty and consolation.'
    Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times

    Praise for Thomas Kinsella 'The most complex and multi-layered of the Peppercanister poems...taken with the 1968 and 1973 volumes and some of the earlier poems may comprise the most challenging, most achieved, and therefore most rewarding body of poetry from the British Isles over the past half-century.'
    The Cambridge History of Irish Literature
     'With unique memorability and force these poems, in the words of 'Belief and Unbelief'€™, coax us to follow their author in search of understanding 'back to the dark / and the depths that I came from'. No one who cares about poetry should hesitate to embark on the journey.'
    The Guardian
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