St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! And in addition to enjoying a pint of Guinness, eating corned beef and cabbage, and pinching everyone who is not decked out in green, why not honor the Irish culture by reading the works of some of the most famous Irish poets? Read to discover which writers from the Emerald Isle have made a name for themselves across the globe!
1.) William Butler Yeats. Born in Dublin in 1865,Yeats is one of the world’s best known poets famous for his lyrical verses. He is also notable for his somewhat unorthodox interests in the occult and in astrology. Themes of mysticism and magic were woven into much of his poetry as a result, making his work truly unique in tone and content. Some of his most famous volumes of poetry include “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “In the Seven Woods,” and “The Winding Stair and Other Poems.”
2.) Samuel Beckett. Though he is perhaps most widely known as a playwright, Beckett was also one of Ireland’s most influential poets. His writing took place at the end of the modernist period, and he was close friends with fellow writer James Joyce. He published several poetry collections, including “Whoroscope,” “Echo’s Bones and Other Precipitates,” and “What is the Word.”
3.) Seamus Heaney. Heaney, who passed away in Dublin in 2013, was an incredibly influential poet of that 20th and 21st centuries. He received high-profile international honors, including a professorship at Oxford University and a position as a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He is famous for his definitive translation of “Beowulf,” as well as for his collections including “Death of a Naturalist,” “District and Circle,” and “Field Work.”
4.) C.S. Lewis. Though you may be most familiar with his beloved “Chronicles of Narnia” series, Lewis is also acknowledged for his poetry. He was born in Belfast in 1898 and went on to have a distinguished career throughout Ireland and England. Lewis was also close friends with fellow fantasy author, J.R.R. Tolkien.
5.) Oscar Wilde. As famous for his writing as for his scandalous (at the time) behavior, Wilde is yet another famous Irish export. Though he ran the gamut of genres from playwriting to journalism to fiction, he also wrote notable poems including “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.”
Pick up a poem by one of these famous Irish poets this St. Patrick’s Day!