Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.
Eavan Boland, from A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet
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About the Author

Christine Cozzens teaches creative and expository writing and Irish literature at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She grew up in Evanston, IL, where her interest in Ireland began with a puzzled perusing of her parents’ copy of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. As a junior at Stanford University studying and working abroad in London, she traveled to Ireland for the first time over the Easter holiday and was hooked for life.

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“The View from Here”

“The View from Here” gives me a chance to ponder Irish literature, history, landscape, and culture from the perspective of a residency—albeit a short one of only twelve months—in Dublin, where I look out on the city and on Ireland from a southwest-facing window in the Grand Canal Dock area. Over the coming year, I expect everything I think I know about this country to change—or at least to grow new roots and shoots.

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The Irish Language

Irish, Irish Gaelic, and Gaelic are all names used in English to describe the language of Ireland that was spoken throughout the island until the arrival of the British in 1169 initiated the colonial era and as many textbooks put it, “The End of Gaelic Ireland.” “Gaeilge” is the Irish form of the word. Here in Ireland, I hear “Gaelic” used most often, but when there’s a need to distinguish it from other Gaelic languages such as Scottish Gaelic, which branched off from Middle Irish, the words Irish or Irish Gaelic are used.

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