Tuesday, October 23, 2012

News at Eleven: But the most extraordinary exchange

[John] Keats had with Ireland was when he crossed from Stranraer to Larne, and set out for the Giant's Causeway. Along the way, "they encountered a figure that seemed to embody the country's wretchedness". He called her the Duchess of Dunghill. "Imagine the worst dog kennel you ever saw . . . In such a wretched thing sat a squalid old Woman squat like an ape . . . What a thing would be a history of her Life and sensations."

The Anglo-Welsh poet David Jones chronicles nearly the same vision along a road outside Limerick. In terms of Irish poetic psychology, Keats had glimpsed the Hag.

from The Irish Times: A poet pursued by death


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