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Everything is susceptible

Douglas Dunn, 20 March 1980

Poems 1962-1978 
by Derek Mahon.
Oxford, 117 pp., £5.75, November 1979, 0 19 211898 6
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The Echo Gate 
by Michael Longley.
Secker, 53 pp., £3, November 1979, 0 436 25680 0
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Poets from the North of Ireland 
edited by Frank Ormsby.
Blackstaff, 232 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 9780856402012
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... forms were worked out with an old-fashioned, fussy dexterity. These poems can now be read in Frank Ormsby’s Poets from the North of Ireland, a useful guide to Northern Irish poetry, but an anthology which has probably appeared too late to revive the fashion of only yesterday, when new poetry from Northern Ireland was patted on the back each time ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... back, the noticeboard was taken down. That noticeboard is behind a poem ‘Spot the ball’ which Frank Ormsby wrote in the Seventies: We persevere from habit. When we try These days our hope’s mechanical, we trust To accident. We are selective No longer, the full hundred crosses Filling the sky. It was Craig Raine who pointed out that this is a poem ...

Parcelled Out

Ferdinand Mount: The League of Nations, 21 October 2015

The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire 
by Susan Pedersen.
Oxford, 571 pp., £22.99, June 2015, 978 0 19 957048 5
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... to listen to anyone. The Senate would pass his treaty or it would pass no treaty at all. Senator Frank Brandegee of Connecticut declared: ‘The president has strangled his own child.’ The flood of idealism that Wilson had unleashed dried up overnight. The enormous hope of yoking the exceptional destiny of the United States to the cause of world peace and ...

Green Martyrs

Patricia Craig, 24 July 1986

The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse 
edited by Thomas Kinsella.
Oxford, 423 pp., £12.50, May 1986, 0 19 211868 4
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The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry 
edited by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 415 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 0 571 13760 1
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Irish Poetry after Joyce 
by Dillon Johnston.
Dolmen, 336 pp., £20, September 1986, 0 85105 437 4
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... na Gile’ (‘Brightness Most Bright’), which defeated Mangan in the 19th century, and Frank O’Connor in the 20th, doesn’t prove manipulable by Thomas Kinsella either – but all are of the utmost interest and signficance in denoting the cultural resources of the unregenerate Irish. As literature in Irish dwindled virtually to a handful of ...

Every Club in the Bag

R.W. Johnson: Whitehall and Moscow, 8 August 2002

The Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War 
by Peter Hennessy.
Allen Lane, 234 pp., £16.99, March 2002, 0 7139 9626 9
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Know Your Enemy: How the Joint Intelligence Committee Saw the World 
by Percy Cradock.
Murray, 351 pp., £25, March 2002, 0 7195 6048 9
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... the Cuban crisis Macmillan kept sending telegrams to Washington which his own Ambassador, David Ormsby-Gore, tore up, describing them as ‘practically incomprehensible’ and ‘wholly out of order’. Cradock doesn’t see Cuba as a Kennedy triumph – JFK used brother Bobby’s backchannel route to the Soviet Ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin, to promise ...

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