St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast day honoring the patron saint of Ireland, but beginning in the 1700s, the day evolved into a more general celebration of Irish history and culture. Today the holiday is a daylong celebration that most may associate with parades, traditional Irish food and dancing, shamrocks, and a sea of green.
While Ireland is home to a variety of cultural traditions, perhaps one of its oldest and most notable is its poetry. The Emerald Isle has given us such influential writers as Ciaran Carson, Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and W. B. Yeats, among many others. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish poets who have changed how we think about poetry, we’ve curated a collection of Irish poets, poems, and essays.