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Selected Poetry of J. M. Synge (1871-1909)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Queens whose finger once did stir men,
Queens were eaten of fleas and vermin,
Queens men drew like Monna Lisa,
Or slew with drugs in Rome and Pisa
        (Queens, 11-14)
  1. The Curse
  2. Danny
  3. On an Anniversary
  4. Queens


Notes on Life and Works

Born near Dublin on April 16, 1871, John Millington Synge studied at Trinity College Dublin. When he was travelling in Europe, he met W. B. Yeats in Paris in 1896, who advised him to return to the Aran Islands to find the well-springs of his writing. Synge did so and published The Aran Islands in 1906. The subject of this book -- Irish peasant life -- formed those plays that made him the leading dramatist of his time. These included The Shadow of the Glen (1903), Riders to the Sea (1904), The Well of the Saints (1905), The Playboy of the Western World (1907), The Tinker's Wedding (1909), and Deirdre of the Sorrows, incomplete at Synge's death from Hodgkin's disease (1910). All were performed at the Abbey Theatre, the principal actress of which, Maire O'Neill, became engaged to Synge shortly before his death.

Biographical information

Given name: J. M.
Family name: Synge
Birth date: 1871
Death date: 1909