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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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... recommended itself through poems such as ‘Epithalamion’ and ‘The Hebrides’ in which traditional forms were worked out with an old-fashioned, fussy dexterity. These poems can now be read in FrankOrmsby’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 ...


Tom Paulin: In Donegal

8 October 1992
... in the centre of Belfast with a cross for every victim, but when the church shut its doors sometime back, the noticeboard was taken down. That noticeboard is behind a poem ‘Spot the ball’ which FrankOrmsby 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 ...

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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... was not the physical disabling but the hardening of his stubbornness and his vanity. He refused 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 ...

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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... in his New Oxford Book. Some of these are of greater merit than others – O Rathaille’s lovely ‘Gile 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 ...

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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... for wall-to-wall summitry in which he would, of course, play a starring role. It seems that during 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 ...

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