James Ward

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
fl.1718 [Rev. James Ward]; ‘Phoenix Park’; by James Ward [in his Miscellany of Poems, 1718], first genuinely topographical Irish poem; the Park was laid out by Chesterfield in fulfilment of plans of Duke of Ormond, in 1745. The poem was also included in Concanen’s Miscellaneous Poems, Original and Translated by Several Hands (Lon. 1724). [No ODNB entry.] PI FDA OCIL

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Commentary
J. W. Foster, Colonial Consequences (Lilliput 1991), writes: ‘While falling short of ‘Cooper’s Hill’ and ‘Windsor Castle’, ‘Phoenix Park’ is a better poem than Garth’s ‘Claremont’ [...] Ward established Irish versions of topographical motifs ... that became obligatory for Irish loco-descriptive poets; Further, ‘Ward’s ‘Phoenix Park’ enacts most of the conventions including the adulation of Caroline monarchy, and the three dimensional “walking” space of the poems’ [13].

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References
D. J. O’Donoghue, Poets of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1912), lists Phoenix Park, a poem (Dublin 1718); Mully of Mountown, a poem [by Dr. W. King], and Orpheus and Euridice, a poem, and Phoenix Park, a poem, by James Ward (Dublin 1718); sixteen poem by Ward in Concanen’s Miscellaneous Poems (1724), including Phoenix Park; BA TCD, 1711; MA, 1714. According to O’Donoghue, Ward was a TCD grad.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (1991), Vol. 1, 427-28 selects ‘Phoenix Park’ [‘What scene more lovely, and more form’d for Bliss/What more deserves the Muse’s strain than this ... Deep in the Vale old Liffy [sic] rolls his tides,/Romantic Prospects crown his rev’rend Sides/ ... Britain’s Glory fills my wid’ning soul (FDA1, pp.427-27). FDA1, 492, 498, Bibl. & BIOG., little known; ed. TCD, and ordained; contributed to A Miscellany of Poems and Translations (Dublin 1716), and Concanen’s Miscellaneous Poems (London 1724); see D. J. O’Donoghue, Poets of Ireland (1912); WORKS, as above, and Phoenix Park (Dublin 1718). [Note confusion over editor and date of Miscellany.]

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