Irish literature exists in two languages. A dual approach is necessary if the tradition, with its historical, political and semantic tensions, is to be understood-indeed, if some of its features are to be appreciated at all.Separate Gaelic and Anglo-Irish anthologies and commentaries have long been readily available, but commentaries dealing with the total Irish literary response are rare. In The Dual Tradition Thomas Kinsella presents a view of poetry in Ireland from early times to the present day, concentrating on the periods of most radical adjustment and change: the coming of Christianity; Norman and later settlement; the end of the bardic period; colonialism and dispossession; politics before Famine and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He brings Yeats and Joyce into new focus and considers in special detail the poetry of Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh and Samuel Beckett. The translations from the Irish are by the author.