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From prosperity to austerityA socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath$
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Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091674

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091674.001.0001

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‘Ship of fools’: the Celtic Tiger and poetry as social critique

‘Ship of fools’: the Celtic Tiger and poetry as social critique

(p.203) 14 ‘Ship of fools’: the Celtic Tiger and poetry as social critique
From prosperity to austerity

Eóin Flannery

Manchester University Press

Flannery provides a summary critical survey of different poetic responses to the Celtic Tiger period, and specifically to its imprints on, and legacies for, contemporary Irish society. Considering this era in recent Irish history in terms of modernization, urbanization, ecological thought and activism, Flannery addresses the works of the following poets: Dennis O'Driscoll, Rita Ann Higgins, Alice Lyons and, by way of preface, John Updike. The chapter touches upon the diverse class-based and gendered effects of the economic boons and privations of the Celtic Tiger period. The ecological consequences are also addressed when looking at this accelerated phase of Irish modernization, which has seen poetic responses to the irresponsible erection of now abandoned properties across Ireland. Connections are made between this phenomenon and the poeticization of historical Irish ruins in earlier Romantic verses. Across these poetic works can be seen the emergence of the Celtic Tiger, as well as the duration and aftermath of its ascendancy in Irish society. Each of the poets offers localised, and often personal, versions of the cultural, social and environmental yields of the Celtic Tiger; in either a single poem, a series of poems or a collection.

Keywords:   Ascendancy, ecology, Rita Ann Higgins, Alice Lyons, modernization, Dennis O'Driscoll, poetry, John Updike

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