Twentieth-Century Poetry in the Irish Language

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 5KS227

Education cycle
First cycle
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 3 March 2021
Responsible department
Department of English

Entry requirements

General entry requirements and English 6

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course students will be able to

  • Identify the main themes, motifs and conventions of the poetry composed in the Irish language during the course of the 20th century.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the cultural background to the composition of the poetry, and an understanding of how this context influenced literary production at the level of the individual poet.
  • Discuss thematic continuity and change in Irish language poetry over the course of the century.
  • Demonstrate a good ability to ground a literary analysis in the text itself as well as in the text’s relationship to its author.
  • Show a good ability to present a literary analysis.
  • Show some ability to use and appraise critical material.


This course will provide a survey of Irish-language poetry composed during the twentieth century. Using Louis De Paor’s bilingual edition of poems from the period, Leabhar na hAthghabála | Poems of Repossession, we will discuss questions of thematic and stylistic continuity as well as evidence for evolution within the poetic tradition of Irish. Students will acquire a knowledge of common themes and conventions in the Irish language poetry of the 20th century, as well as an understanding of how these themes underwent development and were re-articulated over the course of the century. Such themes include gender discourse, post-colonialism, and the politics of language. Introductory use of literary theories and secondary sources is also included.


Campus course: Group instruction. English shall be the language of instruction. Instruction may be partly web-based.

Internet-based course: Teaching is done in the virtual learning environment. A number of on-campus meetings for group instruction may be added (see course catalogue). English shall be the language of instruction. The course reading will be bilingual: texts in Irish with English translation.


Campus course: examination is done in writing as well as by continuous assessment.

Internet-based course: examination is done in writing as well as by continuous assessment.

Grades will be assigned according to one of three categories: Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

Students who do not achieve a passing grade on the regular examination will have another opportunity to take the examination within a reasonable period of time following the regular examination.

Students who fail a certain examination twice have the right upon request, following consultation with the head of department, to have another examiner appointed.

Other directives

If the syllabus or course reading for a component has been changed, students have a right to be examined under the original syllabus and course reading on three occasions during the following three semesters. Normally this right then expires. Otherwise there are no limitations on the number of examination opportunities.

Transitional provisions

For transitional regulations in the case of changes in the syllabus, please contact the student adviser.