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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

‘The Poetry of Recovery and Memory’ explores how eight contemporary poets—Pauline Stainer, Kathleen Jamie, Andrew Waterhouse, Ian Duhig, Don Paterson, Robin Robertson, Lavinia Greenlaw, and Peter Reading—engage with or reinvent a medieval past which is distinctively Northern, whether Irish or British. It is argued that they write in a closely defined tradition of difficult, allusive, and fundamentally nationalist poetry which can be traced back through the work of such poets as Heaney, Hughes, and Hill; David Jones and Hugh MacDiarmid; and extending even to Thomas Gray and William Blake. The Northern medieval pasts of the eight poets are recovered or memorialized through the poets’ knowledge of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse history and literature, of Old Norse myth, and of medieval archaeology.

Keywords: poetry, mythology, archaeology, history, Old English, Old Norse, memory, the North

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