Irish Poetry from Yeats to Heaney

Ref: C3127126

This course will start with the legacy of W.B.Yeats and chart the progress of the poets that have made Irish poetry great in the twentieth century. It will include the work of Louis MacNeice and John Montague and focus on the poetry of the 'Troubles'. Important and outspoken poets such as Eavan Boland, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon and Heaney himself will be studied and the background to the political conflict will be addressed. Some of the material considered may be upsetting as it deals with very real grievances and personal tragedies.

Course aim

This course is for those who have a keen interest in twentieth century Irish poetry, from Yeats to Heaney. It will include Yeats's legacy and the issues and poets who followed him including Louis MacNeice, John Montague, Heaney and Eavan Boland.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • A wide knowledge of modern poetry would be helpful. An interest in Irish poetry and politics would be very useful.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • name the main Irish poets of the twentieth century
  • describe how the poets went about their writing
  • identify some of the main issues that drove the poets to write
  • identify some of the groups in society that were in conflict
  • understand the importance of the peace process in Ireland

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Students will be encouraged to read widely on this course and the tutor will provide a reading list to help. Students may be asked to share some relevant poetry finds.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Worksheets will be provided for each session but students are encouraged to read widely so it would be helpful to bring along anthologies of modern Irish Poetry or, in some lessons, specific texts, Seamus Heaney's 'North', for example.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It would be helpful if students read a range of modern Irish poets before the course but is not obligatory. Sometimes it's pleasant to be surprised by 'new' poetry.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • It may be that students will have preferences for particular poets/ movements that might form the basis of other courses. This can all be negotiated with the tutor.

Download full course information sheet

Irish Poetry from Yeats to Heaney

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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