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Between Here and There: Lyricism and Zen in Sinéad Morrissey’s Japanese Poems

Abstract : This article is devoted to the second section of Sinéad Morrissey’s Between Here and There (2002), which gathers poems written during the Irish writer’s two-year stay in Japan. The title of the collection alludes to the poet’s position, poised between her discovery of Japanese Zen culture and the Western lyrical tradition she was steeped in during her youth in Ireland. In the light of seminal essays on lyricism (J.-M. Maulpoix, J.-C. Pinson, M. Ueda, P. Volsik) and a selection of inquiries into the spirit of Zen (R. H. Blyth, N. W. Ross, D. T. Suzuki, C. Jung, J. Pigeot), our aim is to explore the interactions fostered between both traditions, and the way in which their collusion generates a unique body of poems, as “two worlds split open to each other, stars spilling from each” (“Pearl”). Between attachment and impersonality, Sinéad Morrissey’s Japan sequence cultivates the art of in-betweenness while advocating, in the poet’s own words, “the tolerance of transitions”.
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Pascale Amiot. Between Here and There: Lyricism and Zen in Sinéad Morrissey’s Japanese Poems. Etudes Irlandaises, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2020, 45 (2), pp.7-20. ⟨10.4000/etudesirlandaises.10172⟩. ⟨hal-03551704⟩

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