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Belonging

John Kerrigan

18 July 1996
The ‘O’o’a’a’ Bird 
by Justin Quinn.
Carcanet, 69 pp., £7.95, March 1995, 1 85754 125 1
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Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 254 pp., £18.95, April 1995, 1 85754 074 3
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Collected Poems 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 217 pp., £9.95, November 1995, 1 85754 220 7
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Captain Lavender 
by Medbh McGuckian.
Gallery Press, 83 pp., £11.95, November 1994, 9781852351427
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... in archaic nationalism, and clarify relations between patriotic sentiment and sexual politics. Justin Quinn tries to get to the bottom of this phenomenon in his lively first collection, The ‘O’o’a’a’ Bird. The pale, red-haired beauty of his ‘Ur-Aisling’ is so thoroughly archetypal that she appears ‘when the world had not yet ...

A Bit Like Gulliver

Stephanie Burt: Seamus Heaney’s Seamus Heaney

11 June 2009
Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney 
by Dennis O’Driscoll.
Faber, 524 pp., £22.50, November 2008, 978 0 571 24252 8
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The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney 
edited by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £45, December 2008, 978 0 521 54755 0
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... among ‘cattle out in rain’. The original bog poems, with their choppy stanzas, indicted what Justin Quinn, in the Cambridge Companion, calls Heaney’s ‘censurable complicity’ (it is, Quinn adds, one of his ‘central themes’). ‘The Tollund Man in Springtime’ – six sonnets as full of ...

Goose Girl

Josephine Quinn: Empress Theodora

3 May 2017
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint 
by David Potter.
Oxford, 277 pp., £17.99, January 2016, 978 0 19 974076 5
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... contribution to the series is a life of the sixth-century Byzantine empress Theodora, the wife of Justinian, who ruled the eastern Roman provinces from Constantinople for almost forty years. Justinian had been a soldier from Illyrian peasant stock, but from the imperial throne he codified Roman law, built the great church ...

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