The Whole Matter

The Poetic Evolution of Thomas Kinsella

By: Thomas H. Jackson

Publication Date: Hardback 1995


The Whole Matter: The Poetic Evolution of Thomas Kinsella by Thomas H. Jackson

Joint publication with Syracuse University Press

This is the first comprehensive study of the works of one of Ireland’s most significant contemporary poets. Thomas Kinsella, who first became well known in Ireland in the 1950s, now ranks among the most important of his generation of Irish poets. Although he is considered by many to be the most serious and the most experimental of the contemporary Irish poets, his work has received little critical attention.

Kinsella is often credited with bringing the techniques of international modernism to Irish verse. Jackson presents a rounded critique of the later poems, whose art engages, analyses and morally restructures the content of the poet’s world. What emerges from The Whole Matter is a picture of Kinsella’s astonishingly far-reaching evolution, culminating in an art deeply engaged with the culture around it and with the entire human predicament.

‘With painstaking scholarship and a wise discernment, Jackson has re-examined Kinsella’s influences and shown how they affect the processes of his poetry… The first critic to establish convincingly, rather than merely assert, claims for Kinsella’s achievement… Lively, jargon-free, and understandable.’ Dillon Johnston, Wake Forest University


THOMAS H. JACKSON is Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, and author of The Early Poetry of Ezra Pound. He is principal trombone for the Main Line Symphony in Pennsylvania.



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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 150 × 230 mm
Publication Date

Hardback 1995


Hardback, 184pp