PROUD ARE WE IRISH by James Mansfield-Ed. Cleary


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This collection of Irish light and patriotic verse is representative at the expense of excellence. To be sure, there are many fine verses, but one should not confuse this sheaf with an anthology of the best Irish poetry. Many of the finest lyrics have been popularized here by John McCormack and almost all are entirely sentimental. The sentimentality of the chauvinist verses of the Easter Rebellion was rightly scored by Lady Gregory; ""What did we ever win by tears?"" The best lady versifiers included here can be counted on one hand, and none has the sense of words of a Charlotte Mew or Emily Dickinson. They sing, on and on, with never a thought for poetry. Aside from Yeats, Gogarty, Stephens and small squib from Synge, one waits in vain for the leap of words rather than the lilt of song. There are, however, a few little known poems by Thomas Moore, Davis, Mangan and Ferguson, and the wonderful Moira O'Neill to be gratefully discovered.

Publisher: Quadrangle