Last Poems

Thomas Kinsella


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Carcanet Press Ltd
23 February 2023
ISBN: 9781800173354
136 pages

From the publisher

Last Poems brings together the poems from Thomas Kinsella's five final Peppercanister pamphlets, originally collected as Late Poems (2013), along with a selection of new poems, fragments and revised work which the poet completed before his death in December 2021. An iconic figure in Irish literature, Thomas Kinsella was one of the great poets of the last century: his poems' concern with elemental questions, and a poetics which could be equal to them, is evident here in poems drawn from student publications, in his characteristically meditative sequences and in glittering late fragments. His work was compared to Joyce's by the New York Times for 'its sense of place [and] quest for coherence and meaning in a dark and precarious world': throughout, the poems face up to pressing concerns, age and mortality, the savage waste of war, the opposing ways in which religion and science frame the human predicament, and how the artist may creatively redeem and, in their work, 'offer the Gift onward'.