By Andrew J. Auge
A Chastened Communion lines a brand new course during the well-traversed box of contemporary Irish poetry by means of revealing how severe engagement with Catholicism shapes the trajectory of the poetic careers of Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh, John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Paul Durcan, and Paula Meehan.
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Extra resources for A Chastened Communion: Modern Irish Poetry and Catholicism
During this early modern period, confession centered upon the sins of lust generally associated with the Sixth Commandment. ”16 The guiding assumption of this inquisitorial process was that lust has its provenance in the desire for oneself. ”17 However tendentious such an assertion may be, Austin Clarke’s experience offers powerful confirmation of the core of truth embedded within it. Perhaps even more pertinent for understanding of the impact of confession upon Clarke’s poetry are Foucault’s insights concerning the discursive structure of the practice of confession.
What sets the poetry examined in this book apart is the particularity with which it reconstitutes religious beliefs and principles. The distinctiveness of its constellation of poetry and religion derives from the asynchronous nature of twentieth-century Irish Catholicism. During a period when secular modernity had consolidated its cultural hold over the rest of the Western world, the hegemony of the Catholic Church in Ireland reached its apex. Even as late as the early 1960s, the sociologist C.
The uninhibited outspokenness characteristic of both Clarke’s confessional and satiric poetry resonates with even more significance when it is considered in light of the discursive habits inculcated by auricular confession. As we noted previously, according to Foucault’s analysis, confession imposed a complex dialectic of “enunciation” and “silence” upon the discourse of sexuality whereby the penitent was required to disclose even the most nebulous intimations of sexuality to the confessor but not say anything to anyone else.
A Chastened Communion: Modern Irish Poetry and Catholicism by Andrew J. Auge