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from When Romanticism is no Longer the National Avant-Garde by Piotr Parlej

The situation is made more paradoxical if one recalls that the other option, in Poland at least, has coexisted (precariously marginalized) with the emerging powerhouse of parnassian poetry. Miron Bialoszewski's "Pamietnik z powstania" ("A Memoir of the Uprising"), an account of the Warsaw Uprising, suggests an alternative perspective on the same national trauma, from the point of view of a truth that does not allow itself to be extrapolated, generalized, sloganized, and reproduced into aesthetic manifestoes. Sadly an exception in Polish poetry, Bialoszewski continued an avant-garde tradition of considerable merit within a national aesthetic climate that spurned such experimentation, which it considered simply inadequate to the task of uplifting and perfecting the national soul.

Another measure of the situation, although an indirect one, is the following regularity: when the avant-garde did make an impact, and earned a place in the tissue of national existence, it was not in verse but in drama. In poetry, the nation was prepared to recognize itself only in a conservative (classicist/romantic) mirror; playwrights were the ones who were tolerated, or accepted, in their avant-garde robes.


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Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
Geoffrey Squires, Landscapes and Silences. Dublin: New Writers' Press, 1996.
Catherine Walsh, Idir Eatortha and Making Tents. London: Invisible Books, 1996.

By Robert Archambeau

I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…