‘Ship of fools’
The Celtic Tiger and poetry as social critique
in From prosperity to austerity
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Flannery provides a summary critical survey of different poetic responses to the Celtic Tiger period, and specifically to its imprints on, and legacies for, contemporary Irish society. Considering this era in recent Irish history in terms of modernization, urbanization, ecological thought and activism, Flannery addresses the works of the following poets: Dennis O'Driscoll, Rita Ann Higgins, Alice Lyons and, by way of preface, John Updike. The chapter touches upon the diverse class-based and gendered effects of the economic boons and privations of the Celtic Tiger period. The ecological consequences are also addressed when looking at this accelerated phase of Irish modernization, which has seen poetic responses to the irresponsible erection of now abandoned properties across Ireland. Connections are made between this phenomenon and the poeticization of historical Irish ruins in earlier Romantic verses. Across these poetic works can be seen the emergence of the Celtic Tiger, as well as the duration and aftermath of its ascendancy in Irish society. Each of the poets offers localised, and often personal, versions of the cultural, social and environmental yields of the Celtic Tiger; in either a single poem, a series of poems or a collection.

From prosperity to austerity

A socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath

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