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Form and Community: Derek Mahon’s ‘Beyond Howth Head’ (1972) and Sarah Kirsch’s ‘Wiepersdorf’ Cycle (1973)

  • Nicola Thomas
Chapter
Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)

Abstract

Thomas offers a detailed close reading of Derek Mahon’s ‘Beyond Howth Head’ and Sarah Kirsch’s ‘Wiepersdorf’ cycle. Both of these long poems draw on eclectic sources and reflect configurations of communities and identity, particularly writerly identity, which reject any notion of ‘national’ belonging or a national literary canon. For Kirsch, this self-created writerly identity also has a feminist dimension, albeit one which does not precisely overlap with contemporary feminist discourses. As in other poems by both Mahon and Kirsch, border crossings and liminal spaces are crucial to their rejection of the monolithic categories of political affiliation which shape normative ideas of home, community and world.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.St Hilda’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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