Weaver Poets

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Weaver Poets, Rhyming Weaver Poets and Ulster Weaver Poets were a collective group of poets belonging to an artistic movement who were both influenced by and contemporaries of Robert Burns and the Romantic movement.

Origins

In the late eighteenth century, a number of men involved in the textiles industry, mostly confined to counties Antrim and Down began to submit poems to newspapers and publishers. They were craftsmen and often self-employed. They are known specifically for writing poems in the common tongue of the time for that region, Scots. More often than not, they were working-class and not formally educated.[citation needed]

Some of the more well-known Weaver Poets were James Orr of Ballycarry and David Herbison - The Bard of Dunclug.

Style and form

The style they adopted was the standard Habbie as adopted from a Robert Sempill poem by Robert Fergusson, himself a Scottish weaver, and later by Burns.

Sometimes the poetry produced by the movement was political - Orr had joined the United Irishmen in 1791 and took part in the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798.

A large number of weaver poems were collected by poet John Hewitt. Hewitt bequeathed his entire collection to the University of Ulster.

References


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