THE BATTLE OF AUGHRIM by Richard Murphy

THE BATTLE OF AUGHRIM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title poem in this two-poem book is based on a battle in Ireland in 1691, fought by an Irish army in the name of James II against an English and foreign army which backed William and Mary. The Irish lost. This story is told first through a sequence about the aftermath of bitterness in modern Ireland, then in verses and speeches before the battle and later. The subject is somewhat eclectic for its roundabout treatment--neither the narrative nor the comments are straightforward except in a few matter-of-fact descriptions, and the historical importance of the battle is somewhat unclear. The second long poem concerns the poet's father, and other whites, who settled in Africa recently. Again there is a strong personal sense of local color and history which is not always clear to the outsider. History through poetry is not easy: these poems generally succeed in mood but fail to give a larger picture of the times, places and issues involved.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1968
Publisher: Knopf