Vain glory and the Great War

The World of Books by the books editor   The literary commemoration of the Great War takes many curious forms these days. But none can be more curious than the recent suggestion by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, that a  new renaissance of war poetry should be encouraged among modern soldiers. He had in…

Some essential books on Bernadette and Lourdes

Novels are but one way of exploring the dimension of a subject. Many still prefer non-fiction accounts of such a phenomenon as Lourdes. For this anniversary no distinctive new books have been published in either English or French. But this seems scarcely to matter for some excellent books are still available, new, second hand or…

Irish poets speaking for themselves

The Poet’s Chair: Writings from the Ireland Chair of Poetry (UCD Press, €20.00 each volume) The Ireland Chair of Poetry Trust was established in 1998 jointly by Queen’s University Belfast, TCD, UCD, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and An Chomhairle Ealaíon. Every three years a distinguished poet is selected to hold the Chair as…

The varied voices 
of three Irish poets

A Little Book of Ledwidge: A Selection of Poems and Letters of Francis Ledwidge compiled by John Quinn, with an assessment by Seamus Heaney (Veritas, €9.99) India to Ithaca by Paula Lahiff (€10.00; €12.50 including postage, contact paulalahiff@gmail.com) Santiago Sketches by David McLoghlin (Salmon Poetry, €12.00) In Ireland the role of the poet has been respected since prehistoric…

Apocalyptic visions haunt humanity

Picturing the Apocalypse: The Book of Revelation in the Arts over Two Millennia by Natasha O’Hear & Anthony O’Hear (Oxford University Press, £12.99) The other week a false alarm over an incoming ballistic missile (presumably from North Korea and armed with a nuclear warhead) scared the inhabitants of Hawaii witless. Fleeing the beach in minutes, they…

The inspirational genius of Turner

‘Good morning, Mr Turner: Niall Naessens and J. M. W. Turner’ Exhibition in Print Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland, free admission to January 31, 2018 Every January the NGI mounts an exhibition of its collection of Turner water colours. For conservation reasons these can only be exhibited in the  season of low winter light. The…