Music of Belonging

The Poetry of Micheal O’Siadhail

by M. Caball (Volume editor) D.F. Ford (Volume editor)
Monographs XVI, 247 Pages
Series: Carysfort Press Ltd., Volume 522

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Micheal O’ Siadhail is not only one of the most widely read contemporary Irish poets, but his poetry has also increasingly drawn the attention of critics and commentators. In this intriguing book some leading Irish, English and American literary scholars of his poetry come together with others who approach him and his work through biography, history, art, music, translation, religion and philosophy. Their essays are intended for whoever has enjoyed O’Siadhail’s life-loving, intense yet accessible poems.
An overall account is given of his life, his work and the reception of his poetry so far. There are close readings of some poems, analyses of his artistry in matching diverse content with both classical and innovative forms, and studies of recurrent themes such as love, death, language, music and the shifts of modern life. His rich intellectual and imaginative world of meaning is explored, and special attention is paid to early collections, to his tour de force on the Holocaust, and to Globe's meditations on history and vision in a time of rapid change. O’Siadhail’s stature as an Irish and European poet is assessed, and a range of affinities with other poets – Donne, Rilke, Dante, Kavanagh – are traced. Yet the attempt to categorize O’Siadhail comes up against the real possibility that, according to one critic, ‘it may be that he has done something rare, that he has created his own tradition’.


XVI, 247
ISBN (Softcover)
Carysfort Press, Dublin, 2007. XVI, 247 pp.

Biographical notes

M. Caball (Volume editor) D.F. Ford (Volume editor)

The Editors: Marc Caball is Director of the Humanities Institute of Ireland and the Graduate School in Arts and Celtic Studies at University College, Dublin (UCD). He served as first Director of Ireland Literature Exchange (ILE) between 1994-2000. During that time, he worked closely with ILE’s founder chairman, Micheal O’Siadhail. David F. Ford studied Classics at Trinity College Dublin, and later Theology in Cambridge, Yale, and Tübingen. He is currently Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books, including Christian Wisdom. Desiring God and Learning in Love (2007), Theology: A Very Short Introduction (2000), The Shape of Living (2002), and Self and Salvation: Being Transformed (1999). He is the Director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme and is a member of the editorial board of a number of major journals.


Title: Music of Belonging