What Are Some Famous Irish Poems?


Quick Answer

Some of Ireland's most famous poems include "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats, "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney, and "Raglan Road" by Patrick Kavanagh. Yeats, Heaney and Kavanagh are three of Ireland's most prolific and well-regarded poets.

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William Butler Yeats drew on Irish mythology and legends in his poems, producing some of the most well-known Irish poetry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. His 1920 poem "The Second Coming" contains some of the most well-known lines in Irish poetry, with "Things fall apart" and "Slouches towards Bethlehem" referenced in other works.

Seamus Heaney, another Nobel laureate, was a native of Northern Ireland and was known for such poems as "Digging" and "A Drink of Water," which examine life in rural Ireland with a naturalistic eye towards realism. Heaney was also deeply interested in the violence and division of Northern Ireland, a topic he returned to in poems such as "Whatever You Say, Say Nothing."

Patrick Kavanagh's "Raglan Road" has been recorded as a song by musicians such as the Dubliners, Van Morrison, and Billy Bragg. He wrote several other well-known poems, including "Lines written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin" and "The Self-Slaved."

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