O'Neill, Mary Devenport

(1879-1967)
   Irish poet and dramatist who studied at the National College of Art in Dublin, she published two verse plays, Bluebeard (1933) and Cain (1945) and one collection of poetry, Prometheus and Other Poems (1929). She was also a regular contributor to The Dublin Magazine. The ballet Bluebeard was based on her play and was choreographed by Dame Ninette de Valois (1898-2001) as one of the final productions of the Abbey School of Ballet, Dublin (1926-1933). O'Neill's regular Thursday salon was attended by W.B. Yeats (see entry), AE (George William Russell) (see entry) and other prominent Irish writers. She had a reputation as a psychic and Yeats consulted her while he was working on his book A Vision (1925) dealing with the phenomenon of automatic writing. O'Neill's husband Joseph was permanent secretary of the Department of Education, from whom Yeats learned much about the Irish education system to help him in his role as a member of Seanad Éireann (Senate of Ireland). Some of her poems: "An Old Waterford Woman," "Dead in Wars and in Revolutions," "Galway," "SceneShifter Death," "The Tramp's Song."
   Sources: An Anthology of Irish Verse: The Poetry of Ireland from Mythological Times to the Present. Padraic Colum, ed. Liveright, 1948. Biography of Mary Devenport O'Neill (http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/ref/mary_devenport_oneill1). New Irish Poets. Devin A. Garrity, ed. DevinAdair, 1948. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Irish Verse: XVIIth Century-XXth Century. Donagh MacDonagh and Leenox Robinson, eds. Oxford University Press, 1958. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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