Writing in a Time of Violence: Padraic Fiacc’s Demotic Aesthetic

Campbell, Siobhan (2020). Writing in a Time of Violence: Padraic Fiacc’s Demotic Aesthetic. PNReview, 46(4)

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Arguing that the demotic aesthetic of Northern Irish poet Padraic Fiacc deserves a critical reading, this article explores his poetic strategies. In this analysis, both language itself and the construction of the poetic line are seen to be at issue. The abuse of syntax for effect and the disruption of normal narrative associations, the scrambling of pronouns, of word order, and the use of sharp enjambments create an anti-lyric approach, linking this work to the wider modernist movement. A morally engaged and apparently shocked conscience leads to the development of a poetics born out of this poet’s response to social violence and the challenge this poses to the place of the lyric poem.

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