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Denis Devlin


Denis Devlin was born in Greenock, Scotland in 1908 and died in Dublin in 1959. One of the major figures, and major influences, of modern and modernist Irish poetry, alongside Brian Coffey he was described by Samuel Beckett as "without question the most interestering of the youngest generation of Irish poets". Like Coffey, Devlin too produced a large volume of work in translation (collected as Translations into English Dedalus, 1992) while the poems brought together in Collected Poems (1989) include 'Intercessions', 'Uncollected Early Poems and Translations', 'Lough Derg and Other Poems', 'Translation of Exile and Other Poems of St John Perse' and 'Later Poems and Translations'. Introduced by JCC Mays, who regards Devlin's poems as "constructs in which an idea is worked through" (while offering a fascinating insight into the work, including the way in which "lines that push beyond rhyme extend into rhythmical prose"), Collected Poems is an extraordinary book which has, unsurprisingly, become something of a collector's item.

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