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Edited and with translations by David Greene and Frank O’Connor.
The greatest period of Irish poetry lasted from the sixth century to the twelfth and was perhaps the most important branch of medieval poetry.
In ‘Kings, Lords, and Commons’ Frank O’Connor provided outstandingly fine translations from Old and Middle Irish, as well as from Classical Modern Irish, but there has been no edition for the general reader of the Irish texts themselves.
In this treasury Frank O’Connor and David Greene, Professor of Irish at Trinity College, Dublin, have edited a large selection of poems of the period with imaginative scholarship; the Irish manuscript tradition is very bad, and an early Irish poem, to be intelligible to the general reader, must be edited, emended and sometimes cut.
The editors have supplied careful and masterly prose translations of each poem. In their introduction, they analyse the ingredients of Early Irish Poetry, comment on individual poems and, above all, fire the reader with their own passionate enthusiasm for this great body of literature.