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Soundings: Leaving Certificate Poetry Interim Anthology

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Soundings was first published in 1969. It was intended as an 'interim' anthology of poetry for the Leaving Certificate until such time as a more permanent volume could be devised. Twenty six years later it was replaced. In the meantime it had passed through the hands of hundreds of thousands of students in Ireland. Soundings might have been replaced but it was never fully Soundings was first published in 1969. It was intended as an 'interim' anthology of poetry for the Leaving Certificate until such time as a more permanent volume could be devised. Twenty six years later it was replaced. In the meantime it had passed through the hands of hundreds of thousands of students in Ireland. Soundings might have been replaced but it was never fully forgotten. Old copies ended up with an individual personality honed out of manual annotations and thoughts, not all of them provided by the teacher. Scrawls in biro or pencil testified to the thoughts and daydreams many users. A surprising number of copies ended up in attics only to be rediscovered with delight many years later and to be given treasured status in new homes. One former student recalled how Soundings was the first school book to treat her as an adult. It made no concessions to the 'teenager'. It didn't patronise. Its imagery was entirely in the poetry. The typography was appalling but the cover design still resonates. A decade after its demise, second hand copies of Soundings were fetching surprising prices. It was widely discussed in chat-rooms on the web. There were increasing demands for a reprint. So here is Soundings, in its original form just as you remember it. The same stony grey soil of Patrick Kavanagh's Monaghan; T.S.Eliot's same women who come and go talking of Michaelangelo. Please enjoy once more!


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Soundings was first published in 1969. It was intended as an 'interim' anthology of poetry for the Leaving Certificate until such time as a more permanent volume could be devised. Twenty six years later it was replaced. In the meantime it had passed through the hands of hundreds of thousands of students in Ireland. Soundings might have been replaced but it was never fully Soundings was first published in 1969. It was intended as an 'interim' anthology of poetry for the Leaving Certificate until such time as a more permanent volume could be devised. Twenty six years later it was replaced. In the meantime it had passed through the hands of hundreds of thousands of students in Ireland. Soundings might have been replaced but it was never fully forgotten. Old copies ended up with an individual personality honed out of manual annotations and thoughts, not all of them provided by the teacher. Scrawls in biro or pencil testified to the thoughts and daydreams many users. A surprising number of copies ended up in attics only to be rediscovered with delight many years later and to be given treasured status in new homes. One former student recalled how Soundings was the first school book to treat her as an adult. It made no concessions to the 'teenager'. It didn't patronise. Its imagery was entirely in the poetry. The typography was appalling but the cover design still resonates. A decade after its demise, second hand copies of Soundings were fetching surprising prices. It was widely discussed in chat-rooms on the web. There were increasing demands for a reprint. So here is Soundings, in its original form just as you remember it. The same stony grey soil of Patrick Kavanagh's Monaghan; T.S.Eliot's same women who come and go talking of Michaelangelo. Please enjoy once more!

30 review for Soundings: Leaving Certificate Poetry Interim Anthology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Macbeth, Soundings & Hard Times the memories of the BIG LC of '95 come flooding back. Macbeth, Soundings & Hard Times the memories of the BIG LC of '95 come flooding back.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eithne Searson

    A trip down memory lane.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Well, what can you say about Soundings? Reading it again after all these years brought back a flood of memories of my old school, the wind whistling in through the draughty windows while our Leaving Cert English teacher tried to get us to grasp what Yeats meant by "beauty like a tightened bow." The collection definitely betrays the biases of its compiler - it's a scandal that there's only a single female poet, for example - but it's a relatively solid introduction to English-language poetry none Well, what can you say about Soundings? Reading it again after all these years brought back a flood of memories of my old school, the wind whistling in through the draughty windows while our Leaving Cert English teacher tried to get us to grasp what Yeats meant by "beauty like a tightened bow." The collection definitely betrays the biases of its compiler - it's a scandal that there's only a single female poet, for example - but it's a relatively solid introduction to English-language poetry nonetheless, and I especially appreciate the inclusion of Thomas Kinsella who I still think is criminally underrated. Anyway, I think it was a great idea to republish the collection (complete with reproduction doodles on the cover!) and I look forward to popping in and out of it, and the memories it invokes, for a long time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gerard Hoey

    Soundings was an anthology of English litrature poetry first published in 1969 for the Irish Leaving Certificate (Second Level Education) . In the early part of the 21st Century, it was replaced when English as a subject was sadly dumbed down. For those of us lucky to have experienced the beauty and depth of such variety of English language poets, it was a treasure! Who could forget: Miltons "Paradise Lost" Gerard Manley Hopkins "The Windhover" or Kavanagh's "Stony Grey Soil"? Magical. Soundings was an anthology of English litrature poetry first published in 1969 for the Irish Leaving Certificate (Second Level Education) . In the early part of the 21st Century, it was replaced when English as a subject was sadly dumbed down. For those of us lucky to have experienced the beauty and depth of such variety of English language poets, it was a treasure! Who could forget: Miltons "Paradise Lost" Gerard Manley Hopkins "The Windhover" or Kavanagh's "Stony Grey Soil"? Magical.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annette Jordan

    A great walk down memory lane, one of the few school books that I know I will return to again and again. This is a wonderful anthology of poetry encompassing everyone from Shakespeare to Patrick Kavanagh. Even now many years later reading the familiar words and lines I memorised takes me back.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rona

    Along with Hamlet, This was one of my favorite text books from Secondary School. I still have my school copy, complete with handwritten notes at the side of the pages. There are some wonderful poetry contained within.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kieran

    Painful at the time, but nostalgia has given it a certain glow :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Frank O'connor

    This is a book about the weight and importance of poetic writing. For Irish school kids of a certain age it is both nostalgic and informative - a rare combination

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trena

    How lovely it was to get my hands on this book .It was so nice to relive my past. I so love Irish poets.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    One of the greatest anthologies of poetry ever compiled anywhere. Pity most of my teachers for Leaving Cert were never up to the job.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Áine Tierney

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ck

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barry

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aine Richards

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mairead

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen MacManus

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daragh Byrne

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Moloney King

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  20. 4 out of 5

    Conor Murphy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Costello

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Niamh O

  24. 5 out of 5

    Niamh Anne King

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  26. 4 out of 5

    Síle

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Gill

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Marie Moran

  29. 4 out of 5

    Noel Howley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Horizontilting

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