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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

According to Harold Bloom, all poets engage in ‘creative misreading’ of precursors in their poetry. Two such poets are Ciaran Carson and Seamus Heaney, although they do not correspond easily to the Freudian model of the family romance through which Bloom viewed poetic influence. Recent creative misreaders of Bloom, including Michael O'Neill and Lucy Newlyn, view influence as more positive than anxious, but in the process remove much of the original energy from Bloom's theory. This chapter examines contemporary Northern Irish poetry and Romanticism, focusing on how the former negotiated, undermined, and competed with Romantic texts and poets. Heaney's work repeatedly engages with William Wordsworth as one of his main adopted influences. The antagonism between Robert Southey and Lord Byron is not reflected in the (generally) affectionate ironisations of Northern Irish poetry.

Keywords: Irish poetry, poetic influence, Harold Bloom, Ciaran Carson, Seamus Heaney, Romanticism, William Wordsworth, Robert Southey, Lord Byron

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